Sibelius: String Quartets 1888-1889

Sibelius: String Quartets 1888-1889

by Tempera Quartet
     
 

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After the wealth of riches exposed on its previous BIS disc Jean Sibelius: String Quartets 1885-1889, who would have thought it possible for the Tempera Quartet to come up with yet more excellent Sibelius from the same period, let alone a second disc's worth? On Jean Sibelius: String QuartetsSee more details below

Overview

After the wealth of riches exposed on its previous BIS disc Jean Sibelius: String Quartets 1885-1889, who would have thought it possible for the Tempera Quartet to come up with yet more excellent Sibelius from the same period, let alone a second disc's worth? On Jean Sibelius: String Quartets 1888-1889, that is exactly what the Tempera Quartet has done. Although this volume does include the previously recorded "String Quartet in A minor, JS 183," and the "Fuga for Martin Wegelius, JS 85," the rest of it is all made up of Sibelius movements that have never seen the light of day before. As in the case of the previous volume, none of these pieces are throwaway student works, but fully fledged, completely "Sibelian" pieces that stand alongside his two mature, acknowledged string quartets. It is moving to listen to how much depth and emotion the young Tempera Quartet put into this music. One is glad it returned to Sibelius' early quartet music for the second round, as one would not want to be without its reading of the "Fuga for Martin Wegelius." Although this "Fuga" is now known to have been intended as an alternative finale to the "String Quartet in A minor," this 1991 premiere signified the opening of the vaults on Sibelius' early music manuscripts, and therefore has a certain iconic value to Sibelius' adherents. The turbulent features of this dense and complex movement are spelled out beautifully by the Tempera Quartet in a manner that propels the fugal motion of the piece, and yet manages to build an emotionally satisfying dramatic scheme for it as well. This is significant, as Sibelius probably had Beethoven's "Grosse Fuge" in mind when he composed this piece -- unfortunately Wegelius, Sibelius' teacher at the Helsinki Academy, probably died before he had a chance to hear it. One extreme surprise is the "Moderato -- Allegro Appassionato in C sharp minor, JS 131," a stormy, intense movement in the vein of Sibelius' "Kullervo." The Tempera Quartet succeeds in sounding so much like a string orchestra that once listeners get lost in the thread of Sibelius' argument, they will likely forget that they are listening to a string quartet. One could go on about the many virtues of Jean Sibelius: String Quartets 1885-1889, but why? As in the case of the previous disc, this one is perfect! Jean Sibelius: String Quartets 1885-1889 is challenging, engaging, and thought-provoking, and unlike a lot of discs where the unknown works of a major composer are revealed for the first time, the performance reveals this great music in all of its glory and one need make no allowances for the unfamiliarity of the music, nor a second-rate performance. This is urgently recommended.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/29/2006
Label:
Bis
UPC:
7318590014769
catalogNumber:
1476
Rank:
293361

Tracks

  1. Moderato-Allegro Appassionato, for string quartet in C sharp minor, JS 131  - Jean Sibelius  - Andrew Barnett  - Robert Suff  -  Tempera Quartet
  2. Allegro, for string quartet in E minor, JS 28  - Jean Sibelius  - Andrew Barnett  - Robert Suff  -  Tempera Quartet
  3. Work(s): Allegretto in A major, JS 17 and Più lento in F ma  - Jean Sibelius  - Andrew Barnett  - Robert Suff  -  Tempera Quartet
  4. Allegro, for string quartet in F minor, JS 14  - Jean Sibelius  - Andrew Barnett  - Robert Suff  -  Tempera Quartet
  5. Allegretto, for string quartet in B flat major  - Jean Sibelius  - Andrew Barnett  - Robert Suff  -  Tempera Quartet
  6. Fuga for Martin Wegelius, for string quartet, JS 85  - Jean Sibelius  - Andrew Barnett  - Robert Suff  -  Tempera Quartet
  7. String Quartet in A minor, JS 183  - Jean Sibelius  - Andrew Barnett  - Robert Suff  -  Tempera Quartet

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