WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Harold Schiffman: String Quartets / The Auer Quartet


Release Date: 04/26/2005 
Label:  North/South Recordings   Catalog #: 1039   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Harold Schiffman
Performer:  Zsuzsanna BerentésGábor SiposCsaba GálfiAkos Takács
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auer String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 49 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 by American-composer Harold Schiffman are separated by 30 years, and although they are recognizably products of the same artist, there are stark differences that reflect, one speculates, the changes in musical attitudes between 1951 and 1981. The earlier work is crisp, carefully constructed, and quite chromatic. There is a Stravinsky-like quality of organization and precision. In the context of some of the things that were being written at the same time, the language might be called conservative, in spite of sounding dense and challenging even to modern ears. By 1981, Schiffman’s expression had become more focused and direct, tinged with a lyric component that is elusive, at best, in the earlier piece. The Read more influence of Shostakovich is unmistakable in the String Quartet No. 2, with the opening motif sounding like a variation of the famous signature theme of Shostakovich (his initials, D. D. SCH, using the German notation, producing the melody D, D, E?, C, B).

The earlier quartet (and the Capriccio, eight years later) is a work I can admire, whereas the later one is music that I can enjoy, and be moved by. I would not argue with the proposition that this sentiment could be generalized to the music of the respective overall vintages of these quartets. The Auer Quartet, a young ensemble from Budapest, does an excellent job of dispatching this material, and is well recorded. The program notes by the composer are disappointingly uninformative.

FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Capriccio by Harold Schiffman
Performer:  Zsuzsanna Berentés (Violin), Gábor Sipos (Violin), Csaba Gálfi (Viola),
Akos Takács (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auer String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; USA 
Venue:  János Richter Hall, Gyor, Hungary 
Length: 5 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Notes: János Richter Hall, Gyor, Hungary (10/02/2004 - 10/03/2004) 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 2 by Harold Schiffman
Performer:  Gábor Sipos (Violin), Zsuzsanna Berentés (Violin), Csaba Gálfi (Viola),
Akos Takács (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auer String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981; USA 
Venue:  János Richter Hall, Gyor, Hungary 
Length: 19 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: János Richter Hall, Gyor, Hungary (10/02/2004 - 10/03/2004) 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 1 by Harold Schiffman
Performer:  Zsuzsanna Berentés (Violin), Gábor Sipos (Violin), Csaba Gálfi (Viola),
Akos Takács (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auer String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; USA 
Venue:  János Richter Hall, Gyor, Hungary 
Length: 24 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: János Richter Hall, Gyor, Hungary (10/02/2004 - 10/03/2004) 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title