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 

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