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BRAHMS // Piano Quartets nos. 1-3

Geoffroy Couteau, Quatuor Hermès,

Few music lovers are aware of the importance and originality of Brahms’s three piano quartets, yet the composer completely reinvented the genre.


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These works contain some of his most profound inspirations, demonstrating both the orchestral power of his scoring and his interiority. They probably provided fertile ground for his ‘symphonic’ imagination, judging by the uncommon force and creative power with which it is expressed throughout these three scores. The members of the Quatuor Hermès and Geoffroy Couteau have completely grasped the nature of this music, and serve it with the requisite authority and tenderness in an outstandingly committed interpretation.


Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)


CD 1 - Quartet for piano and strings no.2 in A major, op.26
  • Allegro non troppo 15’54
  • Poco adagio 11’20
  • Scherzo 11’09
  • Allegro alla breve 10’36
CD 2 - Quartet for piano and strings no.1 in G minor, op.25
  • Allegro 13’14
  • Intermezzo 7’58
  • Andante con moto 10’05
  • Rondo alla zingarese 8’16
CD 2 - Quartet for piano and strings no.3 in C minor, op.60
  • Allegro non troppo 10’28
  • Scherzo 4’17
  • Andante 8’17
  • Allegro comodo 10’28


Geoffroy Couteau

Brahms has always fascinated Geoffroy Couteau. After winning First Prize at the International Johannes Brahms Competition in 2005, he went on to record the composer’s complete solo piano works for La Dolce Volta. The specialist press unanimously acknowledged this extraordinary discographical venture by categorising it among the finest recordings of the year 2016.

Geoffroy Couteau has appeared in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including the Main Auditorium of the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro, the Hong Kong Concert Hall, the Auditorium of the Musée d’Orsay, the Philharmonie de Paris, the Maison de Radio France, the Salle Gaveau and the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.

He is a regular guest at such festivals as Piano aux Jacobins, Menton, Saintes, Radio France-Montpellier, Lille Piano(s) Festivall, L’Esprit du Piano in Bordeaux, the Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, Piano en Valois, the Chopin festivals of Nohantn and Bagatelle, the Festival Messiaen au Pays de la Meije, and the Eygalières Festival.

Geoffroy Couteau had a dazzlingly successful career at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where he studied with Michel Béroff.

He is now artist in residence at L’Arsenal de Metz, a fertile collaboration that showcases his musical qualities.

Quatuor Hermès

The flourishing career of the Quatuor Hermès takes its members on tours worldwide. The quartet is a regular guest in the United States, where it performs at prestigious halls including the Kennedy Center in Washington and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Its trajectory has been punctuated by a number of decisive encounters, notably with the Ravel, Ysaÿe and Artemis quartets, with whom the four musicians trained and developed a shared musical philosophy, and with such outstanding personalities as Eberhard Feltz in Berlin, and later Alfred Brendel, an immense inspiration with whom they now work regularly.

The Quatuor Hermès has received numerous prestigious awards, among them ‘Révélation Musicale de l‘Année’ at the Prix de la Critique 2014-15 and the Nordmetall Ensemble Preis 2013 at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival. It also won the First Prizes of the Geneva International Competition 2011, the FNAPEC Competition 2010, the Lyon International Chamber Music Competition 2009, and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

The four musicians were Artists in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel from 2012 to 2016. Since 2015 they have received support from the Fondation d’Entreprise Banque Populaire and the Fondation Singer-Polignac in Paris.

Elise Liu plays a violin by David Tecchler on loan from the Fonds Instrumental Français. Since August 2016, Omer Bouchez has played a violin by Joseph Gagliano (1796), on loan from Mécénat Musical Société Générale.

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