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

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
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...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
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: 9/30/2008
  • Label: Phoenix Edition
  • UPC: 811691011332
  • Catalog Number: 133
  • Sales rank: 331,096

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 String Quartet No. 2 for soprano & string quartet in F sharp minor, Op. 10 - Arnold Schoenberg & Christine Schäfer (31:23)
    Composed byArnold Schoenberg
    Performed byChristine Schäfer
    1. 1Mäßig moderato
    2. 2Sehr rasch
    3. 3Litanei. Langsam
    4. 4Entrückung
  2. 5 Langsamer Satz (Slow Movement), for string quartet - Anton Webern & Petersen Quartet (9:05)
    Composed byAnton Webern
  3. 6 Lyric Suite, for string quartet: Die geheime Gesangstimme: Largo desolato - Alban Berg & Christine Schäfer (6:19)
    Composed byAlban Berg
    Performed byChristine Schäfer
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Petersen Quartet Primary Artist
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