London Guardian
By Andrew Clements

Pre-empting next year's bicentenary, Schumann has been the featured composer in the Takács Quartet's London appearances this season. Having dispatched the string quartets, they branched out into chamber music with piano for their final concert, joining Marc-André Hamelin for a forthright account of the Piano Quintet.

In principle, the irrepressibility of the quintet suits Hamelin's attitude to Schumann perfectly, and in large stretches of the work the pianist's clarity paid real dividends when combined with the Takács' tight ensemble. Hamelin was in his element in the scherzo, for instance, and launched the finale's brief flirtation with a fugue with tremendous gusto. However, elsewhere there was the feeling that he was unwilling to allow the music the expressive latitude and flights into fantasy that the quartet seemed to sense it needed.

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