Alongside its highly praised Haydn series, the Doric String Quartet continues its Schubert journey with this second volume of quartets, which precipitates us into the fraught world of late Schubert. Franz Schubert returned to composing string quartets in the 1820s, after four years of focusing on songs which were beginning to gain him wider recognition. His late chamber compositions reveal probably his most characteristic music, full of deep intimacy and profound ambivalence. The ‘Quartettsatz’ (Quartet Movement) presents a turbulent, norm-breaking first movement. Only a fragment survives of a serene Andante in A flat, and nothing for any scherzo or finale. If theRead more ‘Rosamunde’ and ‘Death and the Maiden’ are the most frequently heard of the quartets of Schubert, his last completed one-in G major- certainly remains his most uncompromising in its vastness, and perhaps his most prophetic of the musical future.
Even in a work as familiar as the Quartettsatz the Doric lend character through elasticity of phrasing, which nicely counterbalances the piece's inherent energy. The main ebent, the G major quartet, is very impressive too, spacious without ever being ponderous. The quartet build up their own kind of relentlessness, one that becomes more and more potent upon repeated hearings.