I consider Schubert’s String Quintet the greatest chamber music work ever written.
The Brandis-Quartett has a long history of performing the Quintet. There also exists an earlier recording, issued on Decca but I find that the older one is less polished, and its finale never quite takes flight. If I had to choose one word to describe the present performance, it would probably be “warmth”. The music radiates. It is luminous, and this radiation also warms you up. This warmth sometimes seems to be excessive – in places where I personally would prefer a “whiter” presentation. Still, it is a very coherent view.
The Quintet’s slow movement is nothing less than divine. The performance by the Brandis is not so slow as to become static. Overall, the Brandis Quartett serves the music excellently, as it deserves and ought to be served. The performance leaves a profound impression. This is an excellent performance, intense and thrilling, elegant and thought-provoking. The recording is close, with good spatial definition and a resonant lower register. The liner-note by Geraint Lewis provides an extensive analysis of the music, especially concentrating on its intricate harmonic structure.
Oleg Ledeniov, Musicweb-international.com