Franck's string and piano works flourish

The Fine Arts Quartet with Cristina Ortiz on piano grasp the essence of Franck's more challenging work with flair

Composer: Franck
Repertoire: String Quartet in D; Piano Quintet in F minor
Artists: Cristina Ortiz (piano), Fine Arts Quartet
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Chamber
Label: Naxos 8.572009

It takes time and perseverance to grasp the essence of Franck’s String Quartet and Piano Quintet, certainly more so than the straightforward likeability of his ever-popular Symphony in D. But it’s worth the sweat. The Piano Quintet is constructed from a series of interlocking and evolving episodes – lose your place and you’re sunk. However, Cristina Ortiz and the Fine Arts Quartet map out the structural flow lucidly while generating sounds of great refinement. Performances of the 45-minute String Quartet often suffer from a textural sameness. But the Fine Arts Quartet makes it blossom like never before.