American Quintets
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective
Chandos CHAN 20224


Written by James Nightingale

American Quintets is the debut recording from the English musicians of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective. There are three works on the disc, piano quintets by Amy Beach and Florence Price, and Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach for voice and string quartet. The starting point for this project was Kaleidoscope’s encounter with Amy Beach’s Quintet, a work of lyrical invention that was seen as old fashioned at the time it was composed. This could also be said of Price’s Quintet, which dates from the 1930s but was only rediscovered in an abandoned attic in 2009. In the 1930s, Price was the first African-American woman to have her music played by the Chicago Symphony, but her music has been largely overlooked until recent times. Her Quintet is a work full of warm and folksy melodies. The Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective gives a fine reading of all three pieces and the singer, Matthew Rose, gives a warm reading of Dover Beach, the best-known work in this collection. It’s an engaging disc for lovers of relaxing chamber music.