- Octet for strings in E flat major, Op. 20
- String Octet in C major, Op. 7
Mendelssohn, Enescu: Octets for Strings
Though there are not many in the repertoire to begin with, two of the finest examples of octets for strings (double quartet) were written by composers still in their teenage years. The "Octet" of Felix Mendelssohn, completed at age 16, is by far the most frequently performed and finest example of the genre. Despite the large number of instruments to deal with, Mendelssohn infrequently resorts to part doubling and octaves. Rather, each of the eight instruments has a singular, independent voice through much of the four movements. Another brilliant octet by 19-year-old George Enescu more frequently resorts to octaves and unisons as each of its four movements seem to demonstrate the many influences that were to play a part in Enescu's development. These differences in treatment of the instruments have a direct bearing on the outcome of this AVI disc led by violinist Christian Tetzlaff. The live performance of theMendelssohn "Octet," given in the unusual venue of an abandoned hydroelectric plant, is superb. The eight musicians blend together wonderfully in tone, articulation, and intonation. By contrast, the frequent octaves and unisons in the Enescu let some imperfections and blemishes of intonation creep in. While still played with passion and conviction, Enescu's octet slightly suffers from a diminished technical refinement.
- Release Date:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews