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The Italian Album / Guarneri Quartet


Release Date: 02/03/2009 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 92882  
Composer:  Giuseppe VerdiPeter Ilyich TchaikovskyHugo Wolf
Performer:  David SoyerJohn DalleyArnold SteinhardtMichael Tree,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Tchaikovsky had a great affection for Florence, as had and have very many travellers. Perhaps it would be only a confirmed cynic who asserted that obviously to a Russian, as to an Englishman, the main attraction of Florence or of any other sensibly situated city is simply that of the human frame being allowed for once to become warm enough. Without taking sides on this it is possible to see that in the Souvenir de Florence whatever happened to Tchaikovsky's frame his music on this occasion became warm enough; though the sextet was written after returning to Russia the memories of the sunshine were sufficient to refuse even six strings any descent into groaning despair.

Of course there is other Tchaikovsky music into which
Read more despair does not enter: the whole of the ballet output, for example. But this hardly needs pointing out; whereas string sextets do not perhaps give this sunny chamber work of Tchaikovsky's an airing as often as they might. The unaccustomed resource down below is not used merely to thicken the texture, but instead to allow the ration of warmth to be a generous one, and the merciful presence of a second 'cello allows the first (otherwise in quartet so often frustrated in this respect) a soaring tune or two without the bass of the music disappearing.

These soaring tunes are beautifully expounded in the present performance. So are the tunes allotted to the other players: in particular a large part of the slow movement consists of a moving dialogue between first violin and first 'cello. But the brisker rhythms are equally well handled; and as, especially in scherzo and finale, Tchaikovsky's memories of Florence are in truth really rather noticeably coloured by those of folk-music originating from much closer to home these brisk rhythms are in rather good supply.

Indeed the performance is a very good one throughout. It is also very well recorded.

-- Gramophone [12/1967, reviewing the original LP release of Souvenir de Florence]
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Works on This Recording

1. Quartet for Strings in E minor by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  David Soyer (Cello), John Dalley (Violin), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin),
Michael Tree (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1982 
2. Sextet for Strings in D major, Op. 70 "Souvenir de Florence" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Mischa Schneider (Cello), Michael Tree (Viola), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin),
John Dalley (Violin), David Soyer (Cello), Boris Kroyt (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890/1892; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/1965 
3. Serenade for String Quartet in G major "Italian Serenade" by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  David Soyer (Cello), John Dalley (Violin), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin),
Michael Tree (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/25/1976 

Featured Sound Samples

String Quartet in E minor (Verdi): III. Prestissimo
String Sextet "Souvenir de Florence" (Tchaikovsky): II. Adagio cantabile e con moto

Sound Samples

I. Allegro
II. Andantino
III. Prestissimo
IV. Scherzo fuga: Allegro assai mosso
I. Allegro con spirito
II. Adagio cantabile e con moto
III. Allegretto moderato
IV. Allegro vivace
Italian Serenade

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