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Mendelssohn, Schumann: String Quartets / Guarneri Quartet


Release Date: 02/03/2009 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 94198  
Composer:  Felix MendelssohnRobert Schumann
Performer:  David SoyerJohn DalleyArnold SteinhardtMichael Tree,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

By 1845, only two years before his death, Mendelssohn at 36 was an eminent 'establishment' figure—but one whose creative imagination no longer had its first freshness. I entirely agree with the American sleeve-note writer that the Quintet's crowning glory is its slow movement, "an elegaic Adagio in D minor, remarkable especially for the way Mendelssohn uses his small ensemble to suggest deep contrasts of light and shadow". And though the elves and sprites of the Scherzo, marked Andante scherzando, sound a little middle-aged in comparison with their nimbler cousins in the Octet and other earlier marvels, they are certainly not without charm. In the active flanking movements Mendelssohn's motivation seems impersonal, like a return Read more to eighteenth-century delight in superlative craftsmanship per se. Here the Guarneris and Zukerman greatly help the composer with their urgent drive. Some of the tremolo down below emerges just a bit hard in the first movement, but their assualt on the finale's con fuoco counterpoint makes for an exciting finish. They find the grace for the Scherzo, and the expressive intensity for the Adagio.

-- Gramophone [2/1980, reviewing the original LP release of the Mendelssohn Quintet]
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Works on This Recording

1. Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 13 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  David Soyer (Cello), John Dalley (Violin), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin),
Michael Tree (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1966 
2. Quintet for Strings no 2 in B flat major, Op. 87 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Michael Tree (Viola), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin), John Dalley (Violin),
David Soyer (Cello), Pinchas Zukerman (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1978 
3. Quartet for Strings in A minor, Op. 41 no 1 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  David Soyer (Cello), John Dalley (Violin), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin),
Michael Tree (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/02/1979 
4. Quartet for Strings in F major, Op. 41 no 2 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  David Soyer (Cello), John Dalley (Violin), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin),
Michael Tree (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/27/1977 
5. Quartet for Strings in A major, Op. 41 no 3 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  David Soyer (Cello), John Dalley (Violin), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin),
Michael Tree (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/1978 

Featured Sound Samples

String Quintet no 2 (Mendelssohn): I. Allegro vivace
String Quartet in F (Schumann): II. Andante, quasi variazioni

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