Piano Quintet; 4 Waltzes; Piano Trio No. 2 With chilling and melodic strings (viola, violin, cello) and a quiet piano intermittently adding to the harmonies, the Piano Quintet, originally written in 1940 and performed in the fall of that year by the Beethoven Quartet, is a strikingly beautiful and moving piece in five parts. Presented here by The Nash Ensemble as part of the Shostakovich compilation in Virgin Classics new cd collection “The Classics”, Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet Op.57 maintains all of its softness and allure almost 70 years later.

Following briskly behind are 4 Waltzes for Flute, Clarinet and Piano. The Spring Waltz, the Waltz Scherzo, the Waltz, and the Waltz Charmaine each have their own individual draws. The Spring Waltz is bouncy and feels as carefree as the season itself is purported to be, and the other three waltzes are equally joyful and light.

The final selection on the cd is the Piano Trio No. 2, the most painful of the three. Aparently written for and dedicated to Shostakovich’s friend Ivan Sollertinsky, after his death, the troubling and intense the Piano Trio No. 2 Op.67 is equal parts grand musical display and weeping memorial.

The Nash Ensemble, made up here of Marcia Crayford, Elizabeth Layton, Roger Chase, Christopher van Kampen, Ian Brown, Philippa Davies, and Michael Collins, presents the master’s music superbly and in a clear, well-done way that even an amateur can appreciate. The cd is a soft, simple green, which calls to mind the lighter parts of the collection and brings about an aura of spring even before the cd is played. Overall, this collection is a thoroughly enjoyable masterpiece.

To purchase Shostakovich: Piano Quintet – 4 Waltzes – Pion Trio No.2 by The Nash Ensemble on Virgin Classics, visit Amazon

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