Schönberg: Streichquartett Nr. 2; Webern Langsamer Satz; Berg: Die geheime Gesangstimme

Schönberg: Streichquartett Nr. 2; Webern Langsamer Satz; Berg: Die geheime Gesangstimme

by Petersen Quartet
     
 

The Second Viennese School just isn't as scary as it used to be. Think back to the days of the Juilliard, the LaSalle, or the New Vienna quartets' stereo recordings. Now there were Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern performances to twist nerves, fraySee more details below

Overview

The Second Viennese School just isn't as scary as it used to be. Think back to the days of the Juilliard, the LaSalle, or the New Vienna quartets' stereo recordings. Now there were Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern performances to twist nerves, fray tempers, and end friendships. But that was then: as evidenced by this digital recording by the Petersen Quartet, the fin de siècle composers can no longer be dismissed as Austrian madmen. With the group's warmly modulated tone, richly voiced sonorities, and emotionally balanced interpretations, its music here sounds positively lovely. That's easily understandable in the case of Webern's "Langsamer Satz für Streichquartet": the work itself is a sterling example of late-Romantic sentimental sensuality and an honest performance will have to bring out its post-Wagnerian opulence. In the case of Schoenberg's tonal-to-atonal "Second String Quartet," that musical trick might seem at first hard to pull off. The work's closing two movements are, after all, song settings nearly entirely atonal from start to finish. Yet in the Petersen Quartet's finely polished and beautifully measured account, the work sounds more nostalgically melancholy than aggressively expressionistic, and soprano Christine Schäfer's reading of the closing movements is close to heartbreaking. For hardcore Berg fans, however, it is the final number on the program that will make this disc invaluable since it contains the original, long-suppressed version of the closing movement of the composer's "Lyric Suite." In this exquisitely refined account, Schäfer and the Petersen grant the work its full measure of desperate yearning without overstepping into emotional display or bathos. Captured in clear, direct, yet very evocative sound, this disc deserves to be heard by anyone who reveres the music of the second Viennese triumvirate.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/30/2008
Label:
Phoenix Edition
UPC:
0811691011332
catalogNumber:
133
Rank:
280638

Tracks

  1. String Quartet No. 2 for soprano & string quartet in F sharp minor, Op. 10  - Arnold Schoenberg  - Christine Schäfer  - Stefan George  -  Petersen Quartet  - Michael Bürgermeister
  2. Langsamer Satz (Slow Movement), for string quartet  - Anton Webern  -  Petersen Quartet  - Michael Bürgermeister
  3. Lyric Suite, for string quartet: Die geheime Gesangstimme: Largo desolato  - Alban Berg  - Christine Schäfer  -  Petersen Quartet  - Michael Bürgermeister

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