Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Photo of Kruse-Hausmann-Joseph Joachim-Wirth in String Quartet 1896

An old photo of string quartet with Joseph Joachim as first violinist. This photo reportedly date 1896.

Robert Hausmann, Cellist.
Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), Violinist.
Johann Kruse (1859-1927), Violinist;
Emmanuel Wirth (1842-1923), viola?


London String Quartet - Raoul Vidas - Josef Piastro Borissoff in New York 1920

This is one of my found string quartet article from a search in the Library of Congress. I manage to edit some of interesting stories. Check the other string quartet in old newspaper scan in this link.

This is a page in New York Tribune, 30th October 1920 and then New York Times 10 October 1920. The classical music were pleased by several entertainment on that time. Notably was London String Quartet. Then two young violinist to make their New York performance, Raoul Vidas and Josef Piastro Borissoff. Both still traceable in the Google search nowday. Here the newspaper scan, enjoy the vintage.



Flonzaley Quartet - 1920 The Pullman Herald

This is one of my found string quartet article from a search in the Library of Congress. I manage to edit some of interesting stories. Check the other string quartet in old newspaper scan in this link.

The Flonzaley String Quartet was surely one of leading string quartet in America back in the day. This is a short article about the ensemble that to be performed at local area. Article from The Pullman Herald  23rd April 1920. The article passages:

Flonzaley Quartet in Pullman 1920

The Flonzaley Quartet is generally recognized as the leading string quartet of the present day. The string quartet produces the highest form of music and this concert should be one of the best ever heard in Pullman.

"They play more like angels than like men"—James G. Huneker in the New York Times.

"The Flonzaley Quartet is rapidly becoming the cult in the musical world."—H. E. Krehbiel in the New
York Tribune.

"The quartet is indisputably without a rival."—Philip Hale in the Boston Herald.

"Their perfection of technic, remarkable blending of tone and musical attainments rank them first in
artistic merit as an organization."
—Maurice Rosenfeld in the Chicago News.

"The finest quartet now in existence is the one calling itself the Flonzaley Quartet."- Philadelphia
Press.


Flonzaley String Quartet can be read further in Wikipedia.

MacPhail String Quartet - 1914 New Ulm Review

Reading old newspaper from the 19th century is fun. Especially when you have a specific hobby / interest in mind. I found few of string quartet related article just by randomly search "string quartet" in the Library of Congress and manage to edit some of interesting stories.

This article found in New Ulm Review, dated 9th December 1914. The article scanned perfectly by silicone brain and thus enable the text version :



ONE OF THE NORTHWEST'S FOREMOST MUSICAL ORGANIZATIONS.


The string Quartet has rightly been called the flower of instrumental music. The greatest composers, appreciating its worth, have written many of their noblest compositions in this form. Music lovers have always regarded the string quartet as the most perfect expression of the highest music, and the growth of public interest in it is evidenced in the popularity of such organizations as the Flonzaley and Kneisel quartets.

The playing of the McPhail String Quartet combines beautiful tone, rich and sonorous, with excellent ensemble. Under the direction of William McPhail it has reached a point of perfection rarely attained by similar bodies.

Every member an artist of the highest order and especially fitted for his respective part, the contribution qf each to the artistic results of the whole is invariably reflected in the perfect blending of tone and compelling charm of interpretation which characterizes the playing of this quartet.

William McPhail is a violinist of extraordinary gifts and attainments, possessing that rare combination of technic, temperament, and tone which has won for him an enviable reputation among the leading concert artist of the northwest.

Appearing as soloist with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra at two of their regular concerts, Mr. MacPhail received,high praise for his brilliancy of execution, dignity of expression and sound musicianship.
Since returning from four year's study m music centers of Europe, his musical activities have been many and important, in the concert field as well as in the studio, where he has achieved tremendous success as an exponent of the Sevcik method.

The repertoire of the MacPhail Quartet comprises nearly the entire chamber music literature, including works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Grieg, Dvorak, etc., besides many arrangements of well known compositions by American, German, Scandinavian and other well known composers. The program for tomorrow evening, includes string quartets, violin solos, 'cello solos, trios for violin, viola and 'cello and duets for two violins.

William MacPhail later found MacPhail Music School and still in business until nowday. See the website http://www.macphail.org/ABOUT-MACPHAIL/HISTORY/index

check the other stories found in old newspaper

Hagenow String Quartet - 1897 The Courier Nebraska Newspaper Scan

Reading old newspaper from the 19th century is fun. Especially when you have a specific hobby / interest in mind. I found few of string quartet related article just by randomly search "string quartet" in the Library of Congress and manage to edit some of interesting stories.

Hagenow String Quartet - reside in Nebraska area, article from The Courier Nebraska 13th February 1897. The article titled "Musical Mention" by John Randolph. I believe Hagenow String Quartet may be one of top amateur ensemble, good enough to received a large portion of local newspaper story. No internet result from search "Hagenow String Quartet" , it's a surprising result indeed.

However when searching August Hagenow + violin , some results come to light:
Go back Mr. August Hagenow: August Hagenow came to Lincoln from Chicago in 1886; he was a violinist, but also conducted bands and orchestras in Lincoln. He joined the faculty of O. B. Howell's Nebraska Conservatory of Music in 1889, the same year he married Emma S. Seifert. In January 1894 he opened the Hagenow School of Music, but was bought out by Willard Kimball of the University School of Music in June 1894. Hagenow joined the faculty of the University School of Music, becoming director of the university band from 1903 to 1911.  http://cather.unl.edu/j00085.html

Interesting passage from the article :
In the spring of the year 1889 a few musicians were in the habit of meeting from time to time to spend a musical evening in the practice of string quartets and other music. From the embryo was developed the Hagenow String Quartet consisting at that time of Mr. August Hagenow, first violin, Charles Hagenow, 2nd violin, Mr. G. Sayer, viola, and Dr. E. George Andrews, cello. At the time the quartet was organized public were hardly thought of, the only object being the pleasure derived from the ensemble playing.


Hagenow String Quartet story in The Courier, 13th Feb 1897


check the other stories found in old newspaper:


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rozsa String Quartets / Trio - Tippett Quartet (2013)

Miklós Rózsa (1907–1995)
Performer: Tippett Quartet, UK - Website
Label: Naxos
Released: September 2013

Although being giant in movie score compositions, little is known that Hungarian Miklos Rozsa also wrote chamber works. His two string quartets are highly appreciated by critics. Just like other movie specialist composers Korngold and Walton, Rozsa string quartets were in the late of Romanticism. Highly dramatics also already went into recordings. There were already two versions known on these two string quartets, by Pro Arte and by Flesch String Quartet. But today, young UK based quartet is given new perspectives to the works. Tippett Quartet also added the String Trio to the recording.

The official released notes:
Though Miklós Rózsa became one of the most admired of film composers, he had always written music in other forms and his two published string quartets reveal important facets of his musical background. String Quartet No 1 was written in 1950 when he was under contract with M-G-M and, with its nocturnal and folk-dance imagery, is redolent of his Hungarian youth. String Quartet No 2 is prophetic of his later sparer style, though it too is infused with great energy and high drama. The String Trio, Op 1, recorded for the first time in its original 1929 published version, abounds with youthful vitality.

From Naxos site - About this recording

8.572903 - ROZSA, M.: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 / String Trio, Op. 1 
BUY IT HERE - AMAZON

String Quartet No. 2, Op. 38
1. I. Allegro con brio 00:05:27
2. II. Andante 00:06:16
3. III. Allegro scherzando 00:03:04
4. IV. Allegro risoluto 00:05:49

String Trio, Op. 1 (original published version)
5. I. Largo - Allegro molto energico 00:10:51
6. II. Gioioso 00:05:20
7. III. Largo con dolore 00:05:42
8. IV. Allegretto vivo 00:08:05

String Quartet No. 1, Op. 22
9. I. Andante con moto 00:07:35
10. II. Scherzo in modo ongarese 00:04:18
11. III. Lento 00:07:01
12. IV. Allegro feroce 00:05:21

Total Playing Time: 01:14:49

From left to right: John Mills, violin • Julia O’Riordan, viola
Jeremy Isaac, violin • Bozidar Vukotic, cello

Photo: Benjamin Ealovega


Fesca Complete String Quartet Vol 1 - Diogenes Quartett (2013)

Friedrich Ernst Fesca (1789-1826)
Performer: Diogenes Quartett - Website
Label: CPO
Release: September 2013

Classical composer Friedrich Ernst Fesca was from Germany, born in Magdeburg. He becomes the violinist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and got full education right from an early age. He was performed a public concert of violin at the age of 15. The report told that Fesca wrote at least sixteen string quartets, four string quintets and four flute quartets. Fesca's chamber works also reported a popular repertoire in his time, being printed as early as mid-1810s to his death.

The first opus.1 containing three string quartet had been widely enjoy, as they recorded earlier by Authentic String Quartet in Hungaraton label. The Authentic Quartet done it in period instrument, then compared to Diogenes, their tuning is already different. Now, Diogenes Quartett from Germany done a survey to Fesca and enthusiastically called the project "Fesca Complete String Quartet". The first released, is package as Volume 1 but with three CDs, a massive collection of these Classical Era String Quartets.

UPDATED: A short review for Volume 1.

Both Quartet no.1 and no.2 are a familiar late Classical pieces, the first one should be a modest introduction to Fesca's endeavor in this medium, close to Haydn's. String Quartet No.3 in B flat Major (op.1/3) is my favorite quartet with the last movement is the best climax, it has beautiful main theme and the improvisation through its seven minutes length is easily passed.

The first movement in the quartet no.7 in A minor (Op.3/1) is also my favorite, it has memorable main theme.

Quartet no.8 in D major (Op.3/2) is pretty standard early Beethov-ian. The second movement of Scherzo is intrique and stormy. The last movement in Presto tempo is very familiar, even goes to have some of Haydn musical jokes we used to listen.

Quartet no.13 in D minor is already close to Romantic style. The whole quartet set in sad mood, very lyrical. Only in the last finale movement that Fesca gives a brighter notes for the listener. Quartet No. 15 in D major but opus numbering only in 3 no.4. This is rather short piece, second movement in Andantino is a happy triumphant in mood. The last quartet in this volume is no.9 in E flat major Opus 3 no.3. Again the introductory theme is happened in slow pace. Second movement is marked in Adagio but it quite fast! And the last movement is a canon withing all four voices racing each other.

FESCA Complete String Quartet Collection Volume 1 - Buy It HERE at Amazon

Disc1
-String Quartet No. 1 Op.1-1 in Eb Major
I Allegro
II Adagio
III Menuetoo
IV Rondo

-String Quartet No. 2 Op.1-2 in F sharp minor
I Allegro
II Andante con moto
III Schezando
IV Allegro non troppo

-Potpourri Op.11 No. 2 for String Quartet

Disc2
-String Quartet No. 3 Op.1-3 in B flat Major
I Allegro
II Andantino
III Poco presto
IV Rondo

String Quartet No. 7 Op.3-1 in A minor
I. Allegro

II. Andante con moto
III. Menuetto Allegro
IV. Finale Allegro molto

String Quartet No. 8 Op.3-2 in D major
I. Allegro moderato
II. Scherzo Presto
III. Andante con moto
IV. Finale. Presto

Disc3
String Quartet No. 13 Op.12 String Quartet in D minor
I. Allegro moderato
II. Larghetto
III. Menuetto - Trio
IV. Finale. Allegretto
Published in 1818, when Fesca was around 29

String Quartet No. 15 Op.3-4 in D Major
I. Allegro [0:06:33.46]
II. Andantino [0:04:59.35]
III. Scherzo. Vivace [0:03:59.16]
IV. Finale. Allegro [0:05:32.53]

String Quartet No. 9, Op.3-3 in E Flat Major
I. Allegro [0:06:57.38]
II. Adagio [0:04:58.21]
III. Scherzo. Presto [0:04:50.46]
IV. Finale. Allegro molto [0:05:31.35]


Diogenes Quartet
Recording time: 2007


Diogenes Quartett - Stefan Kirpal, Gundula Kirpal, Lydia Bach and Stephen Ristau












Known Fesca Chamber Works: (from Earsense)
1. String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 1, No. 1 (1815 age 26)
2. String Quartet in f-sharp minor, Op. 1, No.2
3. String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 1, No. 3
4. String Quartet in b minor, Op. 2, No. 1 (1815)
5. String Quartet in g minor, Op. 2, No. 2
6. String Quartet in E major, Op. 2, No. 3
7. String Quartet in a minor, Op. 3, No. 1 (1816)
8. String Quartet in d minor, Op. 3, No. 2
9. String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 3, No. 3
10. String Quartet in c minor, Op. 4 (1816)
11. String Quartet in f minor, Op. 7, No. 1 (1817)
12. String Quartet in e minor, Op. 7, No. 2
13. String Quartet in d minor, Op. 12 (1818)
14. String Quartet in D major, Op. 34 (1814)
15. String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 14 (1819)
16. String Quartet in C major, Op. 36 (1825)

String Quintet (viola) No. 1 in D major, Op. 8 (1817)
String Quintet (viola) No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 9 (1817)
String Quintet (viola) No. 3 in E major, Op. 15 (1820)
String Quintet (viola) No. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 20 (1821)

Flute Quintet in C major, Op. 22 (for flute, 2 violins, viola and cello) (1820-1821)

Quatour Brilliant (Flute Quartet) No. 1 in D major, Op. 37  (1825-26)
Quatour Brilliant (Flute Quartet) No. 2 in G major, Op. 38
Quatour Brilliant (Flute Quartet) No. 3 in F major, Op. 40
Quatour Brilliant (Flute Quartet) No. 4 in D major, Op. 42

Stenhammar String Quartet Vol 2 - Stenhammar Quartet (2013)

Wilhelm Stenhammar (February 7, 1871 – November 20, 1927)
Performer : The Stenhammar Quartet, Sweden
Label: BIS
Release: October 2013

As I posted few weeks ago about new Stenhammar String Quartet cycle HERE, I just saw the upcoming volume 2 on this series. Volume 2 will continued the conversation with Sweden master Wilhelm Stenhammar to String Quartet No.5 in C Major and no.6 in D minor. And for most exciting parts, this volume will also premiered a String Quartet in F minor dated 1897. This string quartet will consisted of four movements.

We looking forward for this release and hat off for new bloods of Sweden who done this cycle, Stenhammar Quartet.

Professional review:
After the harmonic and technical audacities of his Fourth String Quartet, Wilhelm Stenhammar evidently felt the need to explore other paths. Thus, in the Fifth Quartet, he makes a new beginning, as indicated by the title 'Serenade' that he uses in the autograph score, placing the work in a world of apparent lightheartedness, and even ironic detachment. Unusually for the composer, the primary focus of the work is on the slow second movement, the Ballata. This is based on a song that Stenhammar had learned as a child: the tragicomical ballad of the knight Finn Komfusenfej, whose wooing of a noble maiden proves highly complicated - and in the end fatal. Wide-ranging both in substance and in musical character, the Ballata is framed by three briefer movements which all in different ways play with elements of the quartets of Viennese Classicism, by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Stenhammar thus distances himself from late-Romantic conventions - a development which is carried even further in his sixth and final work in the genre. Here 'Romantic' melodies and hovering Impressionist sonorities confront each other and are ultimately synthesized to form a single sound world, while Stenhammar's extensive studies of counterpoint enable him to achieve a truly democratic four-part texture. On this second disc of the Stenhammar Quartet's survey, these two late works frame a world premiere recording, namely that of the Quartet in F minor which Stenhammar completed in 1897, but withdrew after a successful first performance in 1898. While describing the quartet's middle movements as 'fresh and joyful', Stenhammar expressed severe doubts regarding the final movement and for a long time harboured the idea of replacing it, before finally giving up on the work. The first modern performance of the quartet took place in 2001, and now the Stenhammar Quartet is offering a wider audience the opportunity to judge for itself.

Stenhammar String Quartet No 5 in C major Op 29 'Serenade', String Quartet No 6 in D minor Op 35 (world premiere recording), String Quartet in F minor

and from BIS website:
After the harmonic and technical audacities of his Fourth String Quartet, Wilhelm Stenhammar evidently felt the need to explore other paths. Thus, in the Fifth Quartet, he makes a new beginning, as indicated by the title ‘Serenade’ that he uses in the autograph score, placing the work in a world of apparent lightheartedness, and even ironic detachment. Unusually for the composer, the primary focus of the work is on the slow second movement, the Ballata. This is based on a song that Stenhammar had learned as a child: the tragicomical ballad of the knight Finn Komfusenfej, whose wooing of a noble maiden proves highly complicated – and in the end fatal. Wide-ranging both in substance and in musical character, the Ballata is framed by three briefer movements which all in different ways play with elements of the quartets of Viennese Classicism, by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Stenhammar thus distances himself from late-Romantic conventions – a development which is carried even further in his sixth and final work in the genre. Here ‘Romantic’ melodies and hovering Impressionist sonorities confront each other and are ultimately synthesized to form a single sound world, while Stenhammar’s extensive studies of counterpoint enable him to achieve a truly democratic four-part texture. On this second disc of the Stenhammar Quartet’s survey, these two late works frame a world première recording, namely that of the Quartet in F minor which Stenhammar completed in 1897, but withdrew after a successful first performance in 1898. While describing the quartet’s middle movements as ‘fresh and joyful’, Stenhammar expressed severe doubts regarding the final movement and for a long time harboured the idea of replacing it, before finally giving up on the work. The first modern performance of the quartet took place in 2001, and now the Stenhammar Quartet is offering a wider audience the opportunity to judge for itself.

Stenhammar – String Quartets, Volume 2 - Buy It HERE at Amazon

String Quartet No.5 in C major, Op.29 (‘Serenade’) (c.1910)
1. I. Allegro molto con spirito 5'13
2. II. Ballata. Allegretto scherzando (paraphrase on ‘Finn Komfusenfej’) 7'29
3. III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace 1'58
4. IV. Finale. Allegro molto 4'15

String Quartet in F minor (1897) - world première recording
5. I. Allegro 6'14
6. II. Adagio. Con intimissimo sentimento, poco scherzando 6'29
7. III. Allegro giocoso 3'52
8. IV. Allegretto 4'04

String Quartet No.6 in D minor, Op.35 (1916)
9. I. Tempo moderato, sempre un poco rubato 7'12
10. II. Allegro vivace 2'44
11. III. Poco adagio 8'08
12. IV. Presto 6'00



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dover String Quartet Wins Banff International String Quartet First Prize

As reported on their official website, Houston based Dover String Quartet won the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. Dover String Quartet as described on their official media:

The Dover Quartet
Joel Link, violin
Bryan Lee, violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola
Camden Shaw, cello

Considered one of the most remarkably talented young string quartets ever to emerge at such a young age, the Dover Quartet (formerly known as the Old City String Quartet) was the grand prize-winner of the 2010 Fischoff Competition. Formed at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2008, when its members were just 19 years old, the quartet draws from the musical lineage of both the Vermeer and Guarneri quartets, but brings a youthful enthusiasm and musical conviction to the repertoire that is truly its own. The Strad recently raved that the Dover Quartet is "already pulling away from their peers with their exceptional interpretative maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble."

Banff International held on August 26 - September 1, 2013 in Alberta, Canada. The finalist of their 2013 edition is:
  1. The Dover Quartet (USA)
  2. Quatuor Cavatine (France)
  3. Navarra Quartet (UK/Ireland/Netherlands)

Dover String Quartet plays Beethoven String Quartet No.8 streaming here:

Dover Quartet: Beethoven No. 8 on medici.tv.


see official website HERE

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Stenhammar String Quartets Vol 1 - Stenhammar Quartet (2013)

Wilhelm Stenhammar (February 7, 1871 – November 20, 1927)
Performer : The Stenhammar Quartet, Sweden
Label: BIS
Release: June 2013

We will also soon received new cycle of Wilhelm Stenhammar's String Quartets. There were six of them, if you already read my other Stenhammar blog. These fine quartets are rarely circulated among other Romantic repertoire. They were eclipsed by other popular Nordic quartets by Sibelius or Nielsen. For the first volume, the choosen quartet are No.4 in A minor and No.3 in F major. There also 'bonus' track for two movements of Lodolezzi Sings Op.39 for string quartets. These string quarets by Stenhammar often summarize with good review, and the CD notes simply said it well:
"His familiarity with the medium is evident in these works which have been described as 'the most important written between those of Brahms and Bartok', but which still remain less well-known internationally than they deserve."

As for ensemble The Stenhammar Quartet, they were stated to be present since 1995. Having a mission to promote more Sweden composer such as a recording of Mats Larsson-Gothe, Per Mårtensson, Mika Pelo, Viktoria Borisova-Ollas, they also performed classics from Vienna repertoire. On 2013 they were engaged in recording all quartet by Stenhammar, expected to finish by this year as well.

See Volume 2 article here

Stenhammar – String Quartets, Volume 1  - Buy It HERE at Amazon
String Quartet No.4 in A minor, Op.25 (1904–09)
1. I. Allegro ma non troppo 9'14
2. II. Adagio 6'01
3. III. Scherzo. Allegro 6'56
4. IV. Aria variata. Andante semplice 10'49

Lodolezzi sjunger (Lodolezzi Sings), Op.39 (1919)
5. Elegi. Lento 3'23
6. Intermezzo. Allegro agitato 3'59

String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.18 (1897–1900)
7. I. Quasi andante 8'44
8. II. Presto molto agitato 5'08
9. III. Lento sostenuto 7'18
10. IV. Presto molto agitato – Molto moderato 10'49

Peter Olofsson and Per Öman, violins,
Tony Bauer, viola and
Mats Olofsson, cello.


Their warm and energetic musicianship together with striking technical refinement have given them a position as one of the most interesting and respected quartets in Scandinavia today. The Stenhammar Quartet.




Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sergey Taneyev String Quartets - by Carpe Diem String Quartet

Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev (1856-1915) Complete String Quartets (Ongoing)

performer:
Carpe Diem String Quartet (USA)
Chas Wetherbee, violin
John Ewing, violin
Korine Fujiwara, viola
Carol Ou, cello
Label: Naxos

As we experience more Russian chamber music revival now, Carpe Diem join the wagon quickly with a project to record all nine string quartets by Sergey Taneyev. In a list of most important Russian string quartet repertoires, we got the popular Tchaikovsky (3 string quartets) and Borodin (2 string quartets), we also have 'lesser known' Prokofiev (2 string quartets). We would think that the Romantic string quartet scenes in Russian come with least bang as the top composers only effort to put small number of string quartet cycle to the world, before Dmitry Shostakovich's 15 quartets of course. But a deeper survey shall tells, there were at least four more important string quartet composers that Russian can proud of. They were Alexander Glazunov who recorded seven quartets, then a massive 13 quartets by Nicolay Myaskovsky, Vissarion Shebalin nine quartets and Sergey Taneyev nine quartets. Out of four, all their string quartet only presented by at least one or two records available in market. Myaskovsky and Shebalin for example, only got one full cycle from Northern Flower label for ages now. With this rarity background, it is kind of pleasant welcome to see Sergey Taneyev now got the respect and his string quartet now being on roll by younger generation ensemble.

Carpe Diem String Quartet started the Sergey Taneyev project in 2007 with a release of their Volume 1. Volume 2 then released on 2009 and then we reach volume 3 in 2013. Out of nine quartets The Taneyev all being recorded before. Nos 1 and 2 by Krasni Quartet and then most by Russian Taneyev String Quartet from the Northern Flower label. As for the numbering they are a big mess. I don't even sure to recheck the correct string quartet number vs chronologically but I think it is like chronology order is 7, 8, 9, 3, 6, 4, 1, 2 and 5.

So there we have Carpe Diem SQ transforming these quartets, quite faithful to the old Russian Taneyev Quartet version, indeed. Surely the old version got the dynamic that hardly can matched, but in return Carpe Diem put in a soft, gently notes per notes rendition. Plus a better audio quality. Quartet No.3 in Dm seems a good starting point, with only two movements and easily memorize melodies line.  The next destination can be Quartet No.1 in Bbm, with five movements, the first movement in Adagio presented a good folk influences melody to enjoy. All two quartets cleverly selected by Carpe Diem for Volume 1.

Quartet No.4 in Am is the third minor key quartet. Still the room for more folk influenced song in Adagio repeated as in Quartet No.1. The dance theme in fourth movement may reminded to Beethovenian early and middle quartets in spirit. Now, Quartet No.2 in C did not lack of melody either. Few bar of slow introduction in 1st Allegro tempo movement utilized to built a nice melody for this quartet. It's again sounds familiar to Germany Beethoveen's styles.

The third volume of Sergey Taneyev String Quartet by Carpe Diem is similar to Northern Flower package, perhaps technically due to the length of both quartet to fit in one CD. There are Quartet No.7 in E flat major and No.5 in A major. Quartet No. 5 quickly sounds more modern, the last in chronological to composed and it's now contained significant number of dissonance. In contrast Quartet No.7 is early work that can only a step away from Classicism, the 2nd movement Adagio is earlier sign of Taneyev's signature movement on each quartets. With this 2013 release of volume 3, we hope the cycle can be fulfilled by CPSQ and let the revival of Russian string quartet rolling to other neglected composers, such as Myaskovsky and Shebalin.

TANEYEV, Sergey Ivanovich.: String Quartets (Complete) by Carpe Diem String Quartet

Vol. 1 - Nos. 1, 3 Naxos 8.570437 -  BUY HERE at AMAZON 
String Quartet No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 4
1.I. Andante espressivo 00:09:51
2.II. Largo 00:08:14
3.III. Presto 00:03:51
4.IV. Intermezzo: Andantino - Largamente 00:06:16
5.V. Finale: Vivace e giocoso 00:05:58

String Quartet No. 3 in D minor, Op. 7
6.I. Allegro 00:09:19
7.II. Theme and Variations: Andantino grazioso 00:17:33

Vol. 2 - Nos. 2, 4 Naxos 8.572421 - BUY HERE at AMAZON
String Quartet No. 2 in C major, Op. 5
1.I. Allegro 00:11:40
2.II. Scherzo: Allegro vivace 00:06:56
3.III. Adagio espressivo 00:09:53
4.IV. Finale: Allegro vigorosamente 00:08:27

String Quartet No. 4 in A minor, Op. 11
5. I. Introduzione: Adagio - Allegro 00:11:12
6. II. Divertimento: Allegro vivace e scherzando 00:05:16
7. III. Adagio 00:09:06
8. IV. Finale: Introduzione: Adagio - Allegro 00:10:06

Vol. 3 - Nos. 5, 7 Naxos 8.573010 - BUY HERE at AMAZON
String Quartet No. 7 in E flat major
1.I. Allegro 00:12:56
2.II. Adagio cantabile 00:09:56
3.III. Scherzo 00:05:16
4.IV. Finale. Allegro molto 00:09:56

String Quartet No. 5 in A major, Op. 13
5.I. Allegro con spirito 00:09:18
6.II. Adagio espressivo 00:06:35
7.III. Allegro molto 00:03:44
8.IV. Presto 00:04:33

New Sergey Taneyev String Quartet CD released by Carpe Diem String Quartet , July 2013

Ohio based Carpe Diem String Quartet now emerged as one of critically acclaimed young string quartet from the US soil. They venture not only in classical styles but also "eclectic musical interests have led them down the paths of gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music...". The first CD of this series was selected for the 51st Grammy Awards Entry List (2009) in four categories: Best Classical Album, Best Chamber Music Performance, Best New Artist, and Best Engineered Album-Classical. The quartet is the resident ensemble for Columbus Dance Theater, and their joint project The String Machine was aired by WOSU-PBS television through 2007–2008, and nominated for an Emmy award. In 2010, 2011, and 2012 Carpe Diem was the only quartet in America chosen to receive prestigious ArtsAlive Awards from the PNC Foundation.

 buy   buy 
tags: Sergey Taneyev String Quartet album review

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Anton Reicha Complete String Quartet - Kreutzer String Quartet

Anton Reicha (1770-1836)
Performer: Kreutzer String Quartet , UK
Label: Toccata
Released: 3 June 2013

THE WAITING GAME IS OVER!!!

Anton Reicha (or Rejcha) is one of Classical era composer that I hope the most to get their string quartets being recorded. The waiting game is over now. Toccata put this project into pretty serious one, they just released a plan to recorded all Reicha's surviving string quartets. Born in Prague, a Bohemian and then naturalized to French, Anton Reicha made a close encounter with Beethoven. In his Vienna years, from year 1801 was his peak on compositions.

Reicha believed to wrote at least 37 string quartets. They were rarely can be listen and none to be found on internet and even no amateur performance in Youtube. Basically up to year 2013 the world had little possibility to heard these works. We only presented Reicha's series of Wind chamber pieces. This repertoire was praised by critics for its quality.

Most of Reicha's string quartets praised as influential in his years. Now that Kreutzer String Quartet under Toccata label going to premiere his pieces, we will have the opportunity to judge how historical these quartet to the repertoire we known today.

UPDATED FEB 2014:
Short review on this Volume,  this review is merely what a common listener's thought.

String Quartet in C major Op.48 No.1 (c 1802)
I. Allegro non troppo  - it started calmly and the whole movement set in light mood, the tempo is either too fast (hence, allegro) neither too slow. The main theme is easily grasps and repeated from time to time. Quite minimalis, at 6:37 a straightforward melody is being heard without much accompaniment, making this quite unusual for his period I guess. This movement is something like in between Mozart and Beethoven's Op.18. This is also the longest movement on the CD.

II Adagio - this Adagio indeed give a strong connection to their first movement, about 3 minutes used to developed the slow theme, but suddenly, at 2:50, the movement switched to a fast theme. This is rather provocative compared to their tempo signature because it is too contrast and I am not sure if this is merely only a 'cameos' on the movement because it seems breaking the mood.

III Menuetto: Allegro - the first bar of this 3rd movement sounds very familiar, in the whole I think this movement very close references to Haydn's style.

IV Finale: Presto - again I'm surprised that the final two movements become more Haydn-era styles, compared to the 1st and 2nd movements which I think closer to early Romantic. There is a moment where the first melody went into lower notes, which can be more dramatist in the performing notes.  This finale is rather stormy, but I still feel it should have gone more strong and banging climax.

String Quartet in G major Op.48 No.2 (c 1802)
I. Allegro - this is something like late Haydn pieces. I agree with the liner notes that the melody quite represent the conversation between 1st voices and 2nd voices. The melody is rich in composition, compared to the previous quartet in C (which is more minimalist).

II Adagio un poco Andante - I hear something like 'American' scales is in used right from the starting theme. This is an easy movement to follow, the lower string takes turn to amplify the main theme and it's just a simple theme being developed and repeated. Especially when you reach 5:15, where the pizzicato effects is begin to join the party.  My favorite movement on this CD.

III Menuetto: Allegro - after being spoiled in the 2nd movement, we then get a wake up call in this Menuetto. A lot usage of bending notes techniques, something like the whole quartet is stretching the notes on their fingerboard. We must exercise bit of patience because Reicha seems eagerly to insert a lengthy  improvisation, start from 2:42 to 4:21, before back to the main theme again.

IV Finale: Allegretto - if you expected a stormy finale movement, then again this is not what Reicha gives to us in this finale movement. We get two rounds of mid tempo theme, the climax only come after this (at 2:34). We must accepted that a stormy finish to the quartet in not Reicha's styles. I'm going to throw in provocative thought that Reicha is more like Mendelssohn, who very strong in melody but not much rely on 'bombastic' trick to attracted his listener.


Quotes from the booklet:

Anton Reicha's String Quartets
3 String Quartets, Op.48
in C major, G major, E flat major
(Vienna late 1801-January 1803)

3 String Quartets, Op.49
in C minor, D major, B flat major
(Vienna 1802-04)

Grand Quartet in C major, Op.52
String Quartet in A major Op.58

6 String Quartets Op.90
in E flat major, G major, C major, E minor, F major
D major, 1819

3 String Quartets Op.94
in A major, E flat major, F minor, 1824

3 String Quartets Op.95
in E major, D major, C major, 1824

Quartuor Scientifique, 1806 Op.36 
La Pantomime, Fantasia for String Quartet, 1806
Overture for String Quartet Sessions, 1816
14 String Quartets found in Hamburg
5 fugues for string quartet, 1809
Armonia al revescio, completed 11 June 1834, perhaps his final works
5 fugues, a Harmonie retrograde, a variation set, and a funemral march for string quartet, 1824-26

The package just published its Volume 1 at the time of writing this blog. The booklet is great with in deep article "Introducing Anton Reicha's Vienna String Quartets" by Ron Drummond, "The Reicha Quartet From Where We Site" by the ensemble first violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved. The volume were recorded as fresh as February 2013. Ron Drummond had been writing about Anton Reicha for years and his writing can be found in this link.

Quotes:
"I am convinced that the absence of Reicha's quartets from the repertoire seriously impoverishes our understanding of the evolution of the string quartet – that's how significant Reicha's quartets are."

Anton Reicha Complete String Quartet Volume 1 - BUY IT HERE (Amazon)

String Quartet in C major Op.48 No.1 (c 1802)
I Allegro non troppo
II Adagio
III Menuetto: Allegro
IV Finale: Presto

String Quartet in G major Op.48 No.2 (c 1802)
I Allegro
II Adagio un poco Andante
III Menuetto: Allegro
IV Finale: Allegretto



Sunday, May 26, 2013

Franz and Ignaz Lachner - Last Defender of Classical String Quartet

The history of classical music did not even blinked to the present of one family of composer / conductor once lived in Rain am Lech, a town in Bavarian territory near Danube Lake. It was the Lachner family, whom get the greatest fame by three brothers, Franz Lachner, Ignaz and the youngest Vincent Lachner. They were children of Anton Lachner. The father, Anton, was an organist to local church and repair clock and watch as part of living. The timeline was between 1756, the year Anton Lachner born (then die in 1820) up to year 1895 where Ignaz passed away. Story continued, Anton Lachner (1756-1820)  was very poor. To your information, he not only has three talented children, but a total of , yes, eighteen children. These are from his two marriages, just to clarify. The house in Rain, described as a 'hut' rather than a house by Ignaz in later date. The house did not has a basement and when the rain poured it was a total mess and smelly. Papa Anton teach music to all his children with discipline. They were poor but managed to learn musical instruments without even have the instruments. No piano in the living room. Papa Anton painted the bench with black and white to symbolized piano tuts. Thus the children will able to learn the fingering. In the weekend Papa will bring them to 'test' their skill in real organ, whom the children can't wait their turn.

This touching story came with happy ending. One of oldest children, Franz Lachner (2 April 1803 – 20 January 1890) is the top alumni. Success begin when he was getting an audition for an organist in Lutheran church in Vienna, then get the job, even Franz was a Catholic. This good job landed him good circle of musician friends in Vienna. Franz Schubert as example, will continue become Franz's closed friend. They will discussed music together, exchanging idea in composition and performing together in the morning. Franz Lachner later success landed a job as conductor for Kapellmeister in Mainnheim and later peak in Munich. He will be there for another thirty years before the rise of Wagnerism and Modern German diminished his work. Franz Lachner composed a lot of works mainly in the tradition of German / Vienna Classical greats, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. The rise of Modern German was the reason for the neglected of Lachner family works, as written in essay found in booklet and internet. Once a time, modern guy Hans von Bullow conducted Beethoven in his modern style of conducting and then asked Franz for opinion. "Well, mr Lachner did the orchestra performed beautifully this evening, don't you think?" in which Franz promptly replied, "Of course, this that I directed for thirty damn years cannot possibly destroyed in the two months that you have been working with it". von Bullow was the successor to Franz later and succesfully succession the musical landscape of German with modernist. Making Lachner family works unperformed completely.

Robert Schumann made him the most talented and knowledged composer in the Southern area. Tchaikovsky reviewed some of his work and expressed similar admiration. When asked to Franz, "Are you an adherent to Brahms or Wagner?" The maestro said "I am neither, I am myself!".

Franz Lachner composed at least seven string quartet. One not published,  but the other six was in printed. Today the Rodin Quartet help us resurrected the pieces in a well recorded three volume of Franz Lachner string quartets, as well as four volumes of Ignaz Lachner's. Three quartets Op.75,76,77 was published in 1843 while the other three followed up six years later in 1849. There is one quartet in E flat written in Vienna 1829 unpublished.

I most favorite the quartet in B minor op.75. The whole pieces set in minor key produced beautiful melody. The connection between movement and repeated theme make this quartet a memorable piece. Then the elegant Quartet in G op.169 also a strong one. Third movement the Largo is very elegant with epic opening theme.


Franz Lachner String Quartet - Rodin Quartet - Volume 1 - BUY AT AMAZON
01. String Quartet Em op. 173 : I. Allegro moderato [08:12]
02. String Quartet Em op. 173 : II. Adagio non troppo [06:58]
03. String Quartet Em op. 173 : III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace [05:07]
04. String Quartet Em op. 173 : IV. Finale. Allegretto [11:21]
05. String Quartet G op. 169 : I. Allegretto [08:52]
06. String Quartet G op. 169 : II. Menuetto. Allegro assai [06:47]
07. String Quartet G op. 169 : III. Largo [07:52]
08. String Quartet G op. 169 : IV. Finale. Allegro vivavce [06:55]

Franz Lachner String Quartet - Rodin Quartet - Volume 2 - BUY AT AMAZON
01. String Quartet in D minor, op.120 - I. Adagio - Allegro non troppo [11:06]
02. String Quartet in D minor, op.120 - II. Andante quasi Adagio [06:38]
03. String Quartet in D minor, op.120 - III. Scherzo. Allegro assai [04:10]
04. String Quartet in D minor, op.120 - IV. Finale. Allegro agitato [07:25]
05. String Quartet in A major, op.76 - I. Allegro [09:55]
06. String Quartet in A major, op.76 - II. Adagio [07:21]
07. String Quartet in A major, op.76 - III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace [04:56]
08. String Quartet in A major, op.76 - IV. Allegro [07:42]

Franz Lachner String Quartet - Rodin Quartet - Volume 3 - BUY AT AMAZON
01. String Quartet in B minor, op.75 - I. Allegro moderato [10:44]
02. String Quartet in B minor, op.75 - II. Adagio quasi Andante [08:37]
03. String Quartet in B minor, op.75 - III. Scherzo. Allegro assai [04:27]
04. String Quartet in B minor, op.75 - IV. Finale. Allegro agitato [06:03]
05. String Quartet in E flat major, op.77 - I. Allegretto [11:22]
06. String Quartet in E flat major, op.77 - II. Minuetto. Allegretto [04:01]
07. String Quartet in E flat major, op.77 - III. Andante [08:08]
08. String Quartet in E flat major, op.77 - IV. Allegro vivace [09:18]

Ignaz Lachner (September 11, 1807 – February 24, 1895) career in music was rather easier after his brother Franz pioneer the path in the musical capital Vienna. Ignaz was better in violin. He was a prodigy but Papa Anton wanted him to be a teacher and public servant, thus sending him to Grammar school. Ignaz would later not able to hold his desired to become professional and abandoned school in its four year. After the old man passed away, Ignaz will taking violin to the local virtuoso, none other than Bernard Molique (whom composed a number of string quartets as well.) In Vienna, with Franz introduction, Ignaz become friends with Abbe Stadler, Gyrowetz and Weigl. He also friend with the maestro Schubert, although not as close as his brother. Ignaz autobiography described his music career as " In 1827 I was hired as a viola player at the orchestra of the Royal Opera Theater, and in the autumn of 1829 I was made second conductor at the same theater, and in 1830 I was appointed first conductor, a position I held until September 1831". He was also substitute to his brother Franz post as organist in Lutheran Church. He then as Court Music Director at the Royal Theater of Wurttemberg in Stuttgart and peak perhaps as conductor of theater at Hamburg (1853-1858).

Ignaz  was slightly productive in term of string quartet writting. He composed seven standard string quartets, as well two string quartet with different instrument: in C for 3 violins and viola, then in G for 4 violins. His works are more later Romantic feel than his brother's. But still the majority fall into Classicism. Thus making these set of quartets again a neglected piece for hundred year, made by his music oppositions.


Ignaz Lachner String Quartet - Rodin Quartet - Volume 1 - BUY AT AMAZON
01. String Quartet in A, Op. 74 - I [12:23]
02. String Quartet in A, Op. 74 - II [12:27]
03. String Quartet in A, Op. 74 - III [03:36]
04. String Quartet in A, Op. 74 - IV [05:13]
05. String Quartet in Bb, Op. posth - I [07:30]
06. String Quartet in Bb, Op. posth - II [04:19]
07. String Quartet in Bb, Op. posth - III [06:23]
08. String Quartet in Bb, Op. posth - IV [06:53]

Ignaz Lachner String Quartet - Rodin Quartet - Volume 2 - BUY AT AMAZON
01. String Quartet in F, Op. 43 - I [10:36]
02. String Quartet in F, Op. 43 - II [11:45]
03. String Quartet in F, Op. 43 - III [05:47]
04. String Quartet in F, Op. 43 - IV [10:01]
05. String Quartet in Am, Op. 105 - I [06:08]
06. String Quartet in Am, Op. 105 - II [04:03]
07. String Quartet in Am, Op. 105 - III [02:18]
08. String Quartet in Am, Op. 105 - IV [04:11]

Ignaz Lachner String Quartet - Rodin Quartet - Volume 3 - BUY AT AMAZON
01. String Quartet C op. 54 - 1. Allegro moderato [10:37]
02. String Quartet C op. 54 - 2. Andantino [09:15]
03. String Quartet C op. 54 - 3. Scherzo. Presto [04:13]
04. String Quartet C op. 54 - 4. Allegretto quasi Andantino [12:18]
05. String Quartet G op. 104 - 1. Allegro ma non troppo [05:13]
06. String Quartet G op. 104 - 2. Andante grave [05:39]
07. String Quartet G op. 104 - 3. Allegro vivace [03:14]
08. String Quartet G op. 104 - 4. Allegro vivace [03:14]

Ignaz Lachner String Quartet - Rodin Quartet - Volume 4 - BUY AT AMAZON01. String Quartet in G major op.51 - I. Allegro moderato [16:55]
02. String Quartet in G major op.51 - II. Andante con moto [12:31]
03. String Quartet in G major op.51 - III. Scherzo. Presto [06:43]
04. String Quartet in G major op.51 - IV. Finale. Allegro vivace [12:13]
05. String Trio "Die gute alte Zeit" op.77 - I. Maestoso quasi Andantino [03:07]
06. String Trio "Die gute alte Zeit" op.77 - II. Andantino [03:30]
07. String Trio "Die gute alte Zeit" op.77 - III. Allegro giocoso [01:33]

Of the other brother and sister were, Vincent Lachner (19 July 1811 – 22 January 1893). He wrote two string quartets. The three of them can surely described as last defender of Classical era string quartet in the 19th century.


Vinzenz Lachner String Quartet - Rodin Quartet - BUY AT AMAZON
String Quartet in E flat Op.27 - I. Allegro
String Quartet in E flat Op.27 - II. Andantino
String Quartet in E flat Op.27 - III. Scherzo Allegro assai
String Quartet in E flat Op.27 - IV. Finale. Allegro gioioso
String Quartet in Dm Op. 36 - I. Allegro
String Quartet in Dm Op. 36 - II. Andante
String Quartet in Dm Op. 36 - III. Menuetto
String Quartet in Dm Op. 36 - IV. Finale. Allegro vivace

The other children that manage to become professional musician from the Lachner dynasty were : Theodore Lachner (1795-1877) an organist at two churches and assistant to the director of rehearsals at the royal theater. Thekla Lachner (1801-1869) organist at two churches, Christina Lachner (1805-1858) also an organist.

sources: the CD booklets and internet researches.


    
the Lachner string quartets - recorded by Rodin String Quartet

Sunday, May 19, 2013

List of Ignaz Pleyel String Quartets (Ben 301 - 370)

Ignaz Pleyel, born 1757 up to 1837, was perhaps one of most successful Classical Era composer during those times. Apart from being Haydn pupils, he continuously enjoy popularity for his works,  whether a concertos and chamber music. In chamber music he wrote about 84 quartets and 70 of them are in string quartets form, Dr. Rita Benton thematic catalog well documented those in Ben 301 - 370. His string quartets received praises as early as his Op.1 Ben 301. The admirers are none other than Mozart himself. Mozart wrote a letter to his father urged the senior to take a copy of the Pleyel's works because it is worth while, at the same letter praise Haydn as Pleyel's tutor and express good word to have Pleyel rise to fame replacing Haydn.

Pictures of Pleyel Piano Manufacturer

Of the seventy string quartets, unfortunately some are missing or incomplete. This is an ironic because Pleyel main business is not composing but an entrepreneur in score publishing. His publishing office portfolios included all Haydn's string quartets, Hummel's, Beethoven, Mozart and Boccherini's. His company flag was named Chez Pleyel. Yet, somehow not all his works are published, including his legacy in string quartet genre are not yet fully discovered.

Pleyel popularity has been enjoying an increased recently. His works begin to spurred out of recording label and many works had been recorded. His string quartets also begin to received attention from listeners and scholars. Several disc had been released. This article  try to listed out the available recording of his string quartets. In the hope that someday we will able to listen a full discography of Pleyel string quartets works. The Pleyel string quartets are the true forgotten string quartets!

List of Ignaz Pleyel String Quartets (Ben 301 - 370)

to buy at Amazon, click on the links

Op.1 - 1782-84
301 String Quartet in C major
302 String Quartet in E ♭ major
303 String Quartet in A major incomplete
304 String Quartet in B♭ major incomplete
305 String Quartet in G major
306 String Quartet in D major
notes: this is the quartets Mozart got in hand with. Pleyel noted that the quartet written in Italy style, neither complicated in terms of execution, nor as profound in artistic senses.

Op.2 - dedicated to Joseph Hayden 1784
307 String Quartet in A major - recorded by Enso String Quartet Vol.1
308 String Quartet in C major
309 String Quartet in G minor - also recorded by the Schein String Quartet* (see comments section below)
310 String Quartet in E♭ major - recorded by Enso String Quartet Vol.2
311 String Quartet in B♭ major
312 String Quartet in D major


Enso String Quartet in Op.2 Ben 307-312 - NAXOS

314 String Quartet in A major 1785
315 String Quartet in E minor 1785
316 String Quartet in C major 1785
317 String Quartet in E♭ major 1785
318 String Quartet in D major 1785

Op.6 - see score
313 String Quartet in B♭ major 1785  
319 String Quartet in C major 1786
320 String Quartet in G major 1786
321 String Quartet in F major 1786
322 String Quartet in A major 1786
323 String Quartet in B♭ major 1786
324 String Quartet in D major 1786

325 String Quartet in E♭major 1786
326 String Quartet in B♭ major 1786
327 String Quartet in A major 1786 
328 String Quartet in C major 1786
329 String Quartet in G major 1786
330 String Quartet in F major 1786

dedicated to the King of Prussia (Friedrich Wilhelm II) 1786
331 String Quartet in B♭ major - Op.8 (Artaria) ; Op.9 Book 1 (Forster) 
332 String Quartet in G major - Op.8 (Artaria) ; Op.9 Book 1 (Forster) 
333 String Quartet in D minor - Op.8 (Artaria) ; Op.9 Book 1 (Forster) 

334 String Quartet in C major - recorded by Pleyel Quartet Koln
335 String Quartet in A major
336 String Quartet in E♭ major

337 String Quartet in D major - recorded by Pleyel Quartett Koln
338 String Quartet in F major
339 String Quartet in G minor

Pleyel Quartett Koln - Pleyel String Quartet Ben 334-339 - CPO


340 String Quartet in G major - Op.11 - recorded by Quartetto Luigi Tomasini
341 String Quartet in C minor - Op.11
342 String Quartet in D major - Op.11


Quartetto Luigi Tomasini - Pleyel String Quartet Ben 340-342 - HUNGAROTON

343 String Quartet in F major 1788 
344 String Quartet in A major 1788
345 String Quartet in F major 1788

Dedicated to the Prince of Wales 1788
346 String Quartet in C major
347 String Quartet in F major
348 String Quartet in E♭ major
349 String Quartet in G major
350 String Quartet in B♭ major
351 String Quartet in A major

352 String Quartet in E♭ major 1788 - recorded by Janacek Quartet (together with String Sextet in F major, Ben 261, String Quintet in G minor, Ben 287)




Dedicated to the King of Naples 1791
353 String Quartet in C major 1791
354 String Quartet in B♭ major 1788
355 String Quartet in E minor 1791
356 String Quartet in G major 1791
357 String Quartet in A major 1791
358 String Quartet in F minor 1791

359 String Quartet in F major 1792
360 String Quartet in B♭ major 1792
361 String Quartet in D major 1792
362 String Quartet in E♭ major 1792
363 String Quartet in G major 1792
364 String Quartet in E major 1792

Op.67 (Andre) / Op.42 (Artaria) - Dedicated to Luigi Boccherini
365 String Quartet in C major 1803 - recorded by Janacek Quartet
366 String Quartet in B♭ major 1803
367 String Quartet in F minor 1803

Dedicated to Giovanni Batttista Viotti - 1810
368 String Quartet in E♭ major - recorded by Janacek Quartet
369 String Quartet in D major

370 String Quartet in G minor

Janacek Quartet - Pleyel String Quartet Ben 365-370 in two volumes - Ars Production

Monday, May 13, 2013

Beethoven String Quartets Releases 2013

It's never as entertaining as listening to Beethoven's number with a new interpretation. Here some of new released around late 2012 to 2013, some of new ensembles and also those quartet who had been around.

New Zealand String Quartet - Beethoven Op.59 no.2 and no.3 - Buy AMAZON 




Right from New Zealand, the quartet ambitiously performed the full cycle of Beethoven's String Quartet on their recent set. Two of the number, Op.59 no.2 in E minor and  Op.59 no.3 in C were recorded by Atoll label. As for trivia news, earlier this year their first violinist suffered serious injury.







Ysaye Quartet - Beethoven Op. 18 no3 , Op.74 'Harp', Op.135 - Buy AMAZON



This is an interesting coupling from Ysaye Quartet / Quatuor Ysaye. The choice of Beethoven's Early quartet No.3 in D Op.18/3, then the middle Op.74 'Harp' and to final in Op.135 in F. Those who looking for fine interpretation of Beethoven and wanted to examine the contrast between each phase will find this CD helpful. Ysaye Quartet announced their disbanding plan in future 2014, so this might be added another valuable factor to the CD.






Valentine Berlinsky Quartet - Shostakovich String Quartet No.3 Op.73, Beethoven 'Rasumovsky' Op.59 No.2 - Buy from AMAZON

This quartet based in Zurich coupling Beethoven with Shostakovich. Both composers provided pinnacle output in chamber music on their respective time era, so why not comparing both in one CD. The package comes in two plates: CD 1 - Shostakovich no.7 in F sharp minor, no.8 in C minor and Beethoven Op.59 no.1 in F. Then the second CD released in 2013 is Shostakovich no.3 in F and Beethoven Op.59 no.2 in E minor. The Rasumovsky quartets Op.59 looks like an evergreen popular of quartet to being covered in 2013.






Talich Quartet - Complete Beethoven String Quartet (Boxset 2013) - Buy From Amazon

Begin in 2012, Talich Quartet set to clean their stock with warehouse sale of all re-released back catalog. Beethoven complete string quartets got it chances for being released in early 2013 (Amazon). This historical boxset recorded from 1977 - 1981, so expect the vintage recording sounds. The package is in seven CDs.









Suske String Quartet - Complete Beethoven String Quartet (Brilliant Classic, 2013) - Buy From Amazon

And if you prefer the budget Brilliant Classics boxset, here is the latest cheap box for Beethoven. Played by Suske String Quartet, which is little known. The boxset is only USD 9.99. Even amazing, this is also part of ultimate complete Beethoven boxset.









Belcea String Quartet - Complete Beethoven String Quartet Vol.1 - Buy from Amazon

This is a new Beethoven cycle recorded in our time by Belcea String Quartet. Recorded around 2011, Belcea then followed with their ambitious project to concert all Beethoven number on stage. The CD been divided into volumes, and we only received volume 1 in 4 CDs for now.
CD 1 - Quartet No. 6 in B flat major, Op. 18 No. 6 - Quartet No. 12 in E flat major, Op. 127
 CD 2 - Quartet No. 2 in G Op. 18 No. 2 - Quartet No.9 in C Op. 59 No. 3 'Rasumovsky No. 3'
 CD 3 - Quartet No. 11 in F minor Op. 95 'Serioso' - Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131
 CD 4 - Quartet No. 1 in F Op. 18 No. 1 - Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18 No. 4
for detail preview see this blog entry

Brentano String Quartet - Beethoven Late Quartets Op.127 Op.131, Op.132, Op.135 - Amazon

Brentano String Quartet focused on Beethoven's Late quartets, the music is official soundtrack on the movie "A Late Quartet". Beethoven's late quartet are main theme in the movie. Brentano made this a classic and did not turn this into too movie orientated. Two CDs, first on String Quartet No. 12 Op.127 in Eb and Quartet No.14 Op. 131 in C sharp minor. Then Quartet No. 15 in A minor Op.132 and No.16 in F major Op.135. Interesting the movie avoid the over exposed GroBe Fugue Op.133, which is a good thing. Cellist Nina Lee making a move in the movie as cameo.





Quartetto di Cremona - Complete Beethoven String Quartet Vol. 1 - Buy From Amazon

Now the Italian also injected some new air for Beethoven. This fresh interpretation from Quartetto di Cremona do String Quartet No.6 in B flat major Op.18-6, No.11 in F minor Op.95 'Seriosa', and no.16 in F major, Op. 135. So, another interesting coupling with all Beethoven's era in one CD. Ultimately the choices is also interesting, seeing Quartet No.6 which is widely considered a light piece to concluded Op.18 and then move to Seriousa and the ultimate No.16 in F. The Quartet had been touring world wide, so they are experience enough to tackle these pieces into recording. The Label is Audite.





Hagen String Quartet - Beethoven Op.18 No.3 , Op.18 No.5 , Op. 135 - Buy From Amazon

This is yet another fresh recording from Hagen String Quartet. As experiences as they are, the choices are the earliest Beethoven quartets, Quartet No.3 in D Op.18 No.3, Quartet No.5 in A , then gone to the final Op.135 in F. Hagen put Beethoven cycle on stage in season 2012/13 in Paris, New York, Tokyo and then recorded these three pieces in between. This is also their 30th anniversary season, marked the move to new Label Myrios, instead of long time DG label.







Chiaroscuro Quartet - Beethoven Op. 95 'Serioso', Mozart K.546 Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K.428 Quartet No.16 in Eb - Buy From Amazon

Chiaroscuro Quartet hailed from London, newly formed in 2005. The most important information here is, they are playing on period instruments. So this make it interesting for Beethoven 'Serioso' to get fresh listening on period instrument. To make it more Classical, two Mozart number were added. The Haydn Quartet, Mozart K.428 is perfect companion, then the 'filler' K.546 is interesting to get known. Check this fresh artist CD. It's published by well known Harmonia Mundi label.





Gurzenich Quartet - Beethoven Op.18 No.5, Brahms String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 51 - Buy From Amazon

The googling tells us Gurzenich Quartet is already established since 1888! They are the string quartet form of the the Gürzenich-Orchestra. Today's incarnation of the quartet recorded the sample of their masterful interpretation, the chosen repertoire is Beethoven No.5 in A major Op.18 no.5, then Brahms String Quartet No.2 in A minor Op.51. Both works actually coming from different styles, the late Classical Beethoven and Romanticism of Brahms. So, it's an interesting coupling as well. The back cover however tells this is dated 2010.






Allegri String Quartet - Beethoven Op.18 No.3, Op.18 No.4, Op.18 No.5 - Buy It HERE AMAZON

Founded in 1953 by Eli Goren, William Pleeth, Patrick Ireland and James Barton, the Allegri Quartet is Britain's longest-running chamber music ensemble, sustained over six decades by successive generations of the finest international performers. That's what the website tells us about Allegri String Quartet. Surely this make Beethoven early Op.18 recording worth to examined. They cover three set of quartet from the Opus, no.3 in D, No.4 in C minor and No.5 in A. The label is Vivat music and the "Volume 1" suggest it will has another volume in the future.






Miro Quartet - Beethoven Op.59 - Buy it HERE at AMAZON

The 1996 Fischoff winner (and also plenty others), Miro Quartet set another recording of Beethoven. This time the Razumovsky are presented in complete set. All Razumovsky Op.59 no.1 in F, Op.59 no.2 in E minor and Op.59 no.3 in C got a new touch under this experience quartets. They had previously put all Op.18 in recording by Vanguard Label. This Op.59 will be released under Longhorn music.