American String Quartet | Schubert's Echo

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: String Quartet Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Schubert's Echo

by American String Quartet

“Schubert’s Echo” features three works never before recorded together: Schubert’s monumental Quartet in G, D.887, Berg’s dramatic, atonal Quartet Op. 3 and Webern’s visionary Fünf Sätze, Op. 5 (Five Movements, Op. 5). Schubert’s influence can be heard throughout the entire recording. These works, passionately performed by the American String Quartet (Peter Winograd, violin; Laurie Carney, violin; Daniel Avshalomov, viola; Wolfram Koessel, cello) reveal, in the context of each other, the continuum that is the quartet repertoire. The quartet celebrates its 35th anniversary this 2010-2011 season. Their sophisticated, masterful performances invite you to hear these incredible works anew. Listening to this innovative recording, we’re sure that you too, will hear the echoes.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. String Quartet in G Major, D. 887: I. Allegro molto moderato
14:23 album only
clip
2. String Quartet in G Major, D. 887: II. Andante un poco moto
11:02 album only
clip
3. String Quartet in G Major, D. 887: III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
7:05 album only
clip
4. String Quartet in G Major, D. 887: IV. Allegro assai
11:18 album only
clip
5. String Quartet, Op. 3: I. Langsam
10:18 album only
clip
6. String Quartet, Op. 3 II. Mabige Viertel
10:42 album only
clip
7. Funf Satze, Op. 5: I. Heftig Bewegt
2:34 album only
clip
8. Funf Satze, Op. 5; II. Sehr Langsam
2:30 album only
clip
9. Funf Satze, Op. 5: III. Sehr Lebhaft
0:44 album only
clip
10. Funf Satze, Op. 5; IV. Sehr Langsam
1:42 album only
clip
11. Funf Satze, Op. 5: V. In Zarter Bewegung
3:27 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Excerpts from the CD Liner Notes:

"What intrigues the American String Quartet about Schubert's Quartet in G, D.887 is what it tells us of Schubert. For all the magnificence of the other late chamber works, they break no stylistic ground, and though their perfection is pure, the Quartet in G in Schubert's only "late" quartet - his one step into the future.

How far does Schubert go in this astonishing work? In form, texture and harmony Schubert reaches out into space: the very opening, which comes from nowhere to move major to minor, establishing the fundamential motive of the entire piece; the second movements elasticity of modulation which is resisted so fervently by the first violin and viola - two notes crying out against new keys nine times in the course of the movement; the explosive dynamic range of he scherzo, ppp to fff (only once before had Schubert called for triple forte); and the inexorable final, its energy inexhaustible.
...
Eighty-four years later Alban Berg produced his Quartet, Op. 3.
...
As a young man, Berg, like Schubert, could think only of song, and his teacher Schoenberg had to force him to instrumental composition, opening his world to the past as well as the future.
...
Of the three leaders of the second Viennese School, only Berg fully acknowledged his musical heritage, and the result was a continuum, audible to all who recognized it. After an early performance of the Op. 3 Quartet Berg spoke of "the most wonderful evening of my life...I reveled in the lovely sounds, the solemn sweetness and ecstasy of the music...the 'wildest' and 'most daring' passages were sheer harmony in the classical sense...At the end there was almost frantic general applause - not one sound of booing..."

Berg had succeeded with his master's methods - but how could this bright, new atonal work have connected with so many listeners? Perhaps because older principals underlay the music.

Anton Webern...wrote in reaction to the perceived excesses of the late romantic period, and thus his music was shaped by that style. Thesis and antithesis: where Schubert's length grew heavenly, Webern was fiercely brief, while Schubert elevated the tectonic shift between major and minor to an overarching message, Webern made the passage from one note to the next - even the silences between the notes - speaks volumes.
...
Rippling through the decades: as early as 1802 one hears Schubeert in the third movement of Beethoven's trio Op. 70, No. 2; almost 200 years later John Harbison's 'Nov. 19, 1828' evokes Schubert's shade. And from the many echoes between the two we find the one that Webern chose.

...when the voilins and viola enter [the third movement] (after four C#s), they play the same rhythm as the first unison gesture in the finale of the Quartet in G. In fact, the first violin's pitches in Webern are the same as Schubert's in all four parts! No accident."

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