- String Quartet No. 15 in G major, D. 887 (Op. posth. 161)
- German Dances (5) & Trios (7) with Coda, for string quartet, D. 90
Schubert Complete String Quartets Vol. 6: Quartet No. 15 (1826); Five German Dances with seven trios and a coda, D. 9by Kodály Quartet
Of the relatively few complete recordings of all Haydn's string quartets, most listeners would probably place the Kodály Quartet's recordings on Naxos at the same exalted level as the Tatrai Quartet's recordings on Hungaroton. Both groups feature a lean tone, a clean ensemble, and a clear-eyed interpretive stance, and both seem to capture the intellectual lucidity, the musical clarity, and the emotional objectivity of the great Austro-Hungarian inventor of the string quartet. But how well does that approach work in Schubert's quartet? As the Tatrai and now the Kodály Quartet have discovered, not nearly so well. In this, the sixth volume of the cycle of Schubert's complete quartets featuring his final work in the genre, the Kodály brings the same virtues to bear on Schubert as it had Haydn. But while clean is always a good thing in string quartet playing, lean works less well in Schubert's richer scoring and warmer harmonies and clear-eyed works not at all in Schubert's more subjectively emotional music. Thus while one appreciates the Kodály's balances in the opening Allegro molto moderato and its articulation in the Scherzo: Allegro vivace, one wishes they had dug deeper into the elegiac central Andante un poco moto into the fiery closing Allegro assai. And while the fill up of the "Five German Dances" with seven trios and a coda is well-played and nicely rhythmic, one cannot help but wish for a more heartfelt performance. Naxos' sound is a close but a bit thin.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsKodály Quartet Primary Artist
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