WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Brunetti: String Quartets / Schuppanzigh-quartett


Release Date: 11/01/2001 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 999780   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gaetano Brunetti
Performer:  Anton SteckChristoph MayerJane OldhamAntje Geusen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schuppanzigh Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


The music of 18th-century Italian composer Gaetano Brunetti is as much a well-kept secret today as it was in Brunetti's own time. According to the notes, Brunetti composed the vast majority of his music for the Spanish court of Carlos IV, and the king coveted it so much that he prohibited anyone else from seeing or performing it outside his circle. Likewise the only recordings of Brunetti available are this CPO issue and a recent Capriccio recording of symphonies. What a shame! At least from this sampling of four string quartets (he wrote more than 50), Brunetti composed some extraordinarily lovely, inspired, and engaging music. Relying primarily on models of Joseph Haydn, Brunetti seems to have
Read more drawn a lifetime's inspiration, often equalling the master's clever wit and humorous imagination.

The final presto of the second quartet in G is a fine example of Brunetti's invention and playfulness, with its skittish violin line playing cat and mouse with the rest of the ensemble before petering out. The final quartet in E features equally striking moments. The bizarre opening Allegretto espressivo includes so many contrasting rhythmic changes that the effect borders on the musically schizophrenic. The concluding Allegro di molto often echoes these changes, though it's ultimately overwhelmed by the programmatic hi-jinks of the first violinist (who incidentally was Brunetti himself).

Much of the credit for bringing Brunetti's music to life must go to the brilliant, breathtaking Schuppanzigh Quartet. I haven't been this excited about a string quartet since the advent of the Quartet Mosaiques, and if you're familiar with that group, you'll realize just how good this ensemble must be! CPO's sound is likewise extraordinary, with each performer's instrument richly detailed yet set in a believably dry acoustic space. Project coordinator Olaf Krone's notes couldn't be more informative and entertaining. All in all a remarkable offering. More Brunetti and anything by the Schuppanzigh quartet, please!
--John Greene, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Quartet for Strings in A major by Gaetano Brunetti
Performer:  Anton Steck (Violin), Christoph Mayer (Violin), Jane Oldham (Viola),
Antje Geusen (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schuppanzigh Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Madrid, Spain 
2. Quartet (6) for Strings, Op. 2: no 1 in G minor by Gaetano Brunetti
Performer:  Christoph Mayer (Violin), Anton Steck (Violin), Jane Oldham (Viola),
Antje Geusen (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schuppanzigh Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1774; Madrid, Spain 
3. Quartet (6) for Strings, Op. 2: no 3 in E flat major by Gaetano Brunetti
Performer:  Anton Steck (Violin), Christoph Mayer (Violin), Antje Geusen (Cello),
Jane Oldham (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schuppanzigh Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1774; Madrid, Spain 
4. Quartet for Strings in B flat major by Gaetano Brunetti
Performer:  Antje Geusen (Cello), Jane Oldham (Viola), Christoph Mayer (Violin),
Anton Steck (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schuppanzigh Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1792; Madrid, Spain 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great Chamber Music From the Spanish Court March 2, 2013 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "The Schuppanzigh Quartet's outstanding playing brings to life four classical era quartets written by the Italian-born composer Gaetano Brunetti, who spent nearly his entire professional career in the service of the Spanish royal court in Madrid. Brunetti's works exhibit lightness, cheerfulness, and above all great melody. The effective counterpoint and thematic development evident in these quartets would undoubtedly have drawn the approval of his central European contemporaries Haydn and Mozart. Chamber music fans should find great merit in this very fine CPO disk of music from an obviously high quality, albeit obscure, composer. Definitely recommended." Report Abuse
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook