Notes and Editorial Reviews
The growth of interest in Zemlinsky's music over the past decade or so, which recordings have done much to promote, has made it possible to sample his contribution to opera, orchestral music and solo song, as well as chamber music. Yet I suspect that this complete version of his string quartets still provides the fullest, most satisfying picture of his development from Brahmsian lateromantic (in the First Quartet of 1896) to the more acerbic yet far from avant garde style of his final years; the Fourth Quartet was written in 1936.
Of the four, the Second is the most ambitious and the most impressive, not merely in terms of length—one movement of almost 40 minutes— but in its control of form and harmony and the quality of
ideas and argument. Nor does the work pale in comparison with its probable model, Schoenberg's masterly First Quartet. Zemlinsky's career, as conductor as well as composer, was inextricably bound up with that of Schoenberg, and his refusal to become a mere clone of that most potent of personalities revealed a special integrity. The LaSalle recordings of the quartets, together with a bracing piece by the Schoenberg pupil Apostel, are remarkable for their vigour and sophistication, and these CD transfers—despite the fact that certain parts of the Second Quartet still sound rather artifical in their dynamic extremes—are much to be recommended.
-- Gramophone [8/1989]
Works on This Recording
Quartet for Strings no 3, Op. 19 by Alexander von Zemlinsky
LaSalle String Quartet
Period: 20th Century
Written: circa 1923; Prague, Czech Republ
Be the first to review this title