Brahms – Tones of Romantic Extravagance

Piano Quartet No. 1 | Piano Quintet



Australian period-instrument Ironwood shines new light on two of the most popular chamber works of the Romantic era, revealing the passion, power and intimate beauty of Brahms as they perform on the instruments the composer knew and loved.


Ironwood’s interpretation of these popular works is the culmination of several years of cutting-edge research and painstaking experimentation. The results bring vividly to life the expressive practices of Brahms and his circle, which has been clearly documented in early recordings from the turn of the 20th century and contemporaneous written texts. Performing on gut-string instruments and a replica of Brahms’s much-favoured JB Streicher and Sons Viennese-action grand piano (parallel strung and with leather-coated hammers) dating from 1868, Brahms’s music is here imbued with the spirit, expressivity, rhythmic and temporal flexibility and soundscape that the composer undoubtedly expected to hear in performance.


The Op.25 Piano Quartet – the first of three that Brahms wrote – is book-ended by movements so large in soundscape, ideas and development as to feel symphonic. The third movement begins with a heart-on-sleeve song-like melody that is contrasted with a series of powerful themes which propel the music towards a dazzling finale, a tour de force that emulates the Hungarian gypsy style favoured by Haydn. The Op.34 Piano Quintet, Brahms’s most famous chamber work, combines Beethovenian explosiveness with the lyrical qualities of Schubert’s music, producing an unsurpassed level of musical expression.





Ironwood with Anneke Scott


Acclaimed Australian period-instrument ensemble Ironwood and internationally renowned horn player Anneke Scott present a disc celebrating the music of Mozart, and exploring the composers who were seduced by its beauty, inspired by its innovation – and who crafted their own music around its most sublime moments.


Mozart’s Horn Quintet is one of the jewels in the crown of the composer’s chamber music. Mozart, a viola player himself, chose to balance the natural horn with two violas rather than the usual string quartet format, creating a melodious and sonorous sound which is brought to life in this recording through the use of instruments from Mozart’s time.


Mozart’s music was a source of great inspiration to many composers. The album opens with an anonymous work which takes its theme from the aria ‘Là ci darem la mano’ from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. Michael Haydn’s Romance bears close relation to the slow movement of the Mozart E-flat major horn concerto; and the album also features an arrangement of Mozart’s ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio by the London-based Barham Livius. Works for horn by the Bohemian-born horn virtuoso Giovanni Punto, who played with Beethoven, complete the disc.


Ironwood is an Australian-based ensemble, committed to exploring music of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods on early string and keyboard instruments. The members are some of Australia’s most respected early and contemporary chamber musicians. Anneke Scott is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading horn players. She is Principal Horn of John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists, the Orchestra of The Sixteen, Fabio Biondi's Europa Galante, Dunedin Consort and Players and The King’s Consort, as well as appearing regularly as a guest principal with orchestras and ensembles worldwide.





Purcell & Handel

Miriam Allan – Ironwood


This beautifully packaged 1CD digipack contains a stunning collection of English works performed by Australia’s premiere period chamber ensemble, Ironwood and the magnetic UK-based soprano, Miriam Allan. Featuring best-selling tracks such as Music for a While, If Love’s a Sweet Passion and Fairest Isle by Purcell, and chamber works by Handel including Silete venti.



Fairest Aisle from King Arthur, Z628

I am Come to Lock All Fast from The Fairy Queen, Z629

If Love's a Sweet Passion from The Fairy Queen

Overture from The Indian Queen, Z630

She Loves and She Confesses Too, Z413

A New Ground, Z339/3

Why Should Men Quarrel? from The Indian Queen

Curtain Tune from Timon of Athens, Z632

Music for a While from Oedipus, Z583

Third Act Tune: Hornpipe from King Arthur

O! Fair Cedaria, Z402

Chacony, Z730



Trio Sonata in G major, Op. 5 No. 4, HWV399

Silete venti, HWV242





Diana Doherty oboe with Ironwood


Johann Sebastian Bach wrote sublime music for the oboe; here it is performed by Australia’s leading early music experts Ironwood, featuring our own world-renowned Diana Doherty, one of our most charismatic performers (and one of ABC Classics’ best-selling artists!).


This uplifting album is enhanced by a bonus DVD. Interspersed with footage of the recording sessions is an interview with Diana Doherty in which she talks about the music and her experience of playing and recording it.



Concerto in D minor for Oboe, BWV1059R

Concerto in D major for Oboe d’amore, BWV1053R

Concerto in A major for Oboe d’amore, BWV1055R

Sinfonia in F minor from Cantata BWV12, ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’

Sinfonia in C minor from Cantata BWV21, ‘Ich hatte viel Berkummernis’

Sonata in G minor, BWV1030b




Cantillation, Jane Sheldon, Ironwood, Sydney Chamber Choir, Gondwana Voices & Southern Cross Soloists