Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Eugen d'Albert - Complete String Quartets Reinhold Quartett (2016)

Eugen (originally Eugène) Francois Charles d'Albert (10 April 1864 – 3 March 1932)
Performer : Reinhold Quartett
Label : Naxos of America
Release: May 2016

There already a release of Scottish composer Eugen d'Albert string quartets earlier than this one. The Sarastra Quartet had released Eugen d'Albert only two string quartets in the past,  Eugen d'Albert Sarastro Quartet - BUY IT HERE

But now we got the latest rendition of Eugen d'Albert string quartets, done by Reinhold Quartett released by Naxos of America. Notes:

Scottish-born German composer Eugen Francois Charles dAlbert (1864-1932) began his musical career as a pianist. As years passed, he began focusing more on composing, and produced 21 operas, and a variety of piano, chamber, vocal, and orchestral works. The works chosen for this album are his String Quartet op. 11 in E flat major, and String Quartet op. 7 in A minor. These are the only two string quartets that dAlbert wrote. The Reinhold-Quartett is Dietrich Reinhold and Tobias Haupt, violin, Norbert Tunze, viola, and Christoph Vietz, cello.

and a longer descriptions:

Eugen d’Albert was born in Glasgow to a French father and an English mother. Already as a child, however, he was attracted to Germany and began learning the language of the country he felt was his own. He then spent long periods of his life in Germany without ever feeling at home there. He remained a British subject until World War I and then became a citizen of Switzerland. Contradictions continued throughout his entire life: he was a piano virtuoso of epochal stature, but his most ardent wish was to enjoy a composer’s fame. He married six times, regularly changed his place of residence, and experimented with spiritist practices. His compositional oeuvre was just as multifaceted as his life and personal character. Before his thirtieth birthday, in 1886 and 1893, Eugen d’Albert had composed two string quartets. Given the reports about the public’s response to them at the time of their composition, it is quite astonishing that they are only rarely performed today and not mentioned at all in the standard guides to quartet music. The quartets show us a composer embodying the cutting edge of the musical developments of his times who not only met the compositional-technical requirements of the demanding quartet genre but also fully satisfied the tonal needs of a string ensemble. His second quartet in particular is a wonderful late product of romanticism. Dedicated to Johannes Brahms, this work is distinguished by an extraordinarily dense and markedly polyphonic compositional style, highly developed late romantic harmonies, and very nuanced rhythms – while confronting the instrumentalists with considerable challenges. The two quartets remained the only representatives of this genre in d’Albert’s oeuvre: in the end he went down in music history as a »pianist and opera composer.« The recording by the Reinhold Quartet, renewing the composer’s close ties to the Gewandhaus, invites you to get ready once again to revise the traditional picture of this astonishingly multifaceted artist.  from CPO website

Eugen d'Albert: Complete String Quartets

String Quartet No.1 in A Minor, Op.7
1 I. Leidenschaftlich bewegt 9:18
2 II. Langsam, mit Ausdruck 10:05
3 III. Mäßiger bewegt 6:58
4 IV. In mäßiger, ruhiger Bewegung (Thema mit Variationen) 10:38

String Quartet No.2 in E flat Major, Op.11
5 I. Andante con moto 7:33
6 II. Allegro vivace 7:50
7 III. Adagio ma non troppo e con molta espressione 12:33
8 IV. Allegro 6:51 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Paul Juon - Complete String Quartets - Sarastro Quartett (2016)

Paul JUON (1872-1940)
Performer : Sarastro Quartett
Label : CPO
Release : April 2016
BUY IT HERE - Amazon

Born in the middle of Romantic era, Paul Juon hold several string quartets that are mystery to us ever before. Recently, the rise of his chamber musics (some piano quartets) enable CPO label to put the string quartets into recording. So, here we are with the new never heard before Romantic string quartets of Paul Juon. Paul was born in Moscow, his parent are Swiss. Paul return to Switzerland in 1934. His four string quartets in these double CD had been described as influenced by Russian music. Here the CD notes:

The missing link between Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky"" - This is how a contemporary critic once termed the late romantic composer Paul Juon, who was born to Swiss parents in Moscow, graduated from the conservatory with flying colors, and then went to Berlin in 1894 to study with Clara Schumann's half brother Woldemar Bargiel. In 1907 the very discriminating Joseph Joachim appointed him to a full professorship at the Berlin college of Music. Juon penned orchestral compositions and piano and vocal music, but chamber music was his domain. Following the release of his Piano Quartets and his Quintet and Sextet, likewise with piano music, it is now time to present his String Quartets. Once again all the essential traits of Juon's compositional style are brought together with the finest craftsmanship: his predilection for irregular rhythms and rhythmic-metrical peculiarities, bold harmonies, and an unmistakable Russian folk tone in the melodic sphere. Since Juon anticipated developments for which Stravinsky, Blacher, and Messiaen later became famous, we might wellconsider including him among the important rhythmic innovators. In his chamber music Pual Juon is in a class all by himself. 

Paul Juon: Complete String Quartets  BUY IT HERE - Amazon

String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 5 (post-1896) [42:00]
I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio sostenuto
III. Molto presto
IV. Intermezzo. Allegro
V. Finale. Vivacissimo

String Quartet No. 2 in B minor, Op. 11 (1896) [27:45]
I. Allegro risoluto
II. Andante tranquillo
III. Scherzo. Presto
IV. Finale. Allegro con giusto

String Quartet No. 3 in E minor, Op. 29 (1904) [32:44]
I. Allegro molto
II. Lento assai ma poco rubato
III. Moderato
IV. Lento assai - Vivace non troppo

String Quartet No. 4, Op. 67 (1920) [28:21]
I. Allegro
II. Andante tranquillo
III. Allegro
IV. Allegro non troppo

Sarastro Quartett
Ralph Orendain & Roman Conrad, Violin
Hanna Werner-Helfenstein, Viola
Lehel Donath, Cello

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Fröhlich Complete String Quartets - Rasumowsky Quartet (2016)

Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich (20 February 1803 - † 16th October 1836)
Performer : Rasumowsky-Quartett
Label : CPO
Release : April 2016  -  BUY IT HERE

We just got recording of Switzerland composer Frederich Theodore Frohlich last year, but here we got the new CD. This new recording by Rasumowsky comes with 2 CDs and the last quartet never hearded before,  string quartet in F minor. Here some of the CD notes :

Early Romantic Quartets from Switzerland

The string quartets of the Aargau composer Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich form a unique contribution in this genre to musical early romanticism in Switzerland. However, so far only one of these four works has been edited. The manuscripts of his other quartets currently continue to be housed in the Basel University Library. When poor health forced him to abandon his law studies, Fröhlich took compositional lessons in Aarau and then received instruction from Goethe’s friend Carl Friedrich Zelter and Bernhard Klein in Berlin, where he also met Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. He was the most promising young talent of Swiss romanticism, but when his musical activity failed to meet with recognition, he threw himself into the Aare on 16 October 1836. Fröhlich’s music is distinguished by refreshing and natural melodies, a special feel for simplicity combined with compelling effects, and rich in emotional expression and unexpected modulations in the harmonic sphere. 


Swiss composer Friedrich Theodor Frohlich began his compositional career after his poor health forced him to abandon his law studied. He took lessons in Aarau, and then was a student of Carl Friedrich Zelter and Berhard Klein in Berlin. A promising talent, the string quartets featured here show the composer had unique contributions to early romanticism. When his music did not meet the acclaim that he expected, Frohlich unfortunately took his own life at the age of 33. 


The string quartets of Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich form a unique contribution to Swiss early romanticism. He was the most promising young talent of Swiss romanticism, but when his musical activity failed to meet with recognition, he threw himself into the Aare on 16 October 1836. Fröhlich’s music is distinguished by refreshing and natural melodies, simplicity combined with compelling effects, and rich in emotional expression and unexpected harmonic modulations.

Fröhlich Complete String Quartets - Rasumowsky Quartet (2016)

Disk 1
String quartet in F minor
1. I Allegro moderato
2. II Allegretto quasi andantino
3. III Scherzo: Molto allegro - Trio: Meno presto
4. IV Finale: Adagio - Allegro ma non troppo - Adagio - Allegro tempo primo

String quartet in G minor
5. I Andante con variazioni
6. II Scherzo: Molto animato
7. III Largo cantabile
8. IV Finale: Allegro molto

Disk 2
String quartet in E Major

1. I Allegretto ma non troppo
2. II Scherzo: Molto animoso
3. III Adagio, con molto espressione
4. IV Finale: Allegro agitato - Adagio - Andantino - Allegro agitato - Recitativo senza tempo - Adagio - Andantino

String quartet in C minor

5. I Allegro agitato
6. II Andante
7. III Scherzo: Presto
8. IV Finale: Adagio - Allegro