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Weill: String Quartets; Hindemith / Leipzig String Quartet

Release Date: 01/22/2002 
Label:  Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm) Gold Catalog #: 3071071   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kurt WeillPaul Hindemith
Performer:  Andreas SeidelTilman BüningMatthias MoosdorfIvo Bauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

If you're expecting the sardonic, jaded Kurt Weill, be forewarned that you won't find him on this recording. These two quartets are very much early works. The first, written when he was 18, was never performed publicly in his lifetime (and the original score was only rediscovered in 1995). The 1918 quartet chronicles the state of Weill's compositional sensibilities during his student days: he luxuriates in wildly rich, late-Romantic textures and throws far too much into the pot (aping nearly every important Austro-German composer from Mozart onward). It's certainly precocious, but it's also the kind of overreaching, sophomoric art that embarrasses its creator later in life.

The Op. 8 quartet, written in 1922-23, is
Read more light-years ahead of its predecessor; and unlike the earlier work it was premiered quite soon after its completion (notably with Paul Hindemith playing the viola part). Already we hear a far more mature musician, from the insistent undercurrent of rhythm in the cello at the beginning of the Introduction, later taken up by all the players, to the astringent tonality and mocking sensibility of the Scherzo. But the piece really blossoms in the concluding, slowly unfolding Choralphantasie, a lush garden of strangely colored flowers whose harmonic structure is a clear precursor of Weill's later, better known works.

Last up in this collection is Hindemith's odd Minimax from 1923, subtitled "Repertorium for military music". Written for his own Amar Quartet (who had debuted Weill's Op. 8 quartet), the work is a sublimely goofy parody of saccharine waltzes, inane overtures, and pompous marching band tunes--it's the aural equivalent of a Monty Python skit. The playing is exactly what we have come to anticipate from the stunning Leipzig players: a warm, rich tone, sensitive phrasing, and exquisitely precise and polished articulation, all captured in lively, opulent sound. It's another winner from this stellar quartet. [8/17/2002]
--Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Quartet for Strings, Op. 8 by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Andreas Seidel (Violin), Tilman Büning (Violin), Matthias Moosdorf (Cello),
Ivo Bauer (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/2001 
Venue:  Markkleeberg 
Length: 20 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Quartet for Strings in B minor by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Ivo Bauer (Viola), Tilman Büning (Violin), Andreas Seidel (Violin),
Matthias Moosdorf (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/2001 
Venue:  Markkleeberg 
Length: 25 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Repertoire for Military Orchestra "Minimax" by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Matthias Moosdorf (Cello), Ivo Bauer (Viola), Tilman Büning (Violin),
Andreas Seidel (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1995 
Venue:  Royal Riding Academy, Bad Arolsen 
Length: 22 Minutes 22 Secs. 

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