Quartettsatz: Music by Britten, Webern, Wolf

Quartettsatz: Music by Britten, Webern, Wolf

by Quatuor Alfama

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Overview

Quartettsatz: Music by Britten, Webern, Wolf

With so many recordings available of well-known masterworks of the string quartet repertoire, it can be a formidable task for a young ensemble to break into the recording scene with something that really draws attention. Recognizing this, the Belgium-based Quatuor Alfama headed in a unique direction. Instead of creating a program of traditional, multi-movement quartets, the Alfama puts together a series of eight Quartettsatz (quartet movements) by eight different, prominent composers. In some cases, such as the movements of Webern, Schoenberg, Rachmaninov, and Tchaikovsky, they are youthful works that predate what was to become each composer's mature, familiar style. Others, like the selections of Sibelius and Mendelssohn, are mature works in their own right. The majority of the program will be unfamiliar to most listeners, which is a real injustice. The Quatuor Alfama put together a selection of works that are each beautiful, memorable, and enjoyable in their own right. As for their playing, the Alfama again has a lot to offer. Most immediately noticeable is its stunning command over both dynamics and balance, allowing the group to create some truly wondrous textures and effects throughout the disc. The tone ranges from the penetrating force of the violins to a deep, resonant paunchiness in the cello. The only thing that detracts from an otherwise sublime performance is occasional indiscretions of intonation. These blemishes are most noticeable when two or more instruments are playing in unison or octaves, but pitch can be a little shaky anytime the intensity of the music builds. Once they have overcome this, the Alfama stands to become a highly respected ensemble. Regardless of the occasional intonation flaws, this disc is certainly worth checking out.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/12/2011
Label: Fuga Libera Label
UPC: 5400439005822
catalogNumber: 582
Rank: 281197

Tracks

  1. Presto, for string quartet in C major
  2. Capriccio for string quartet in E minor, Op. 81/3
  3. String Quartet in B flat major (in 1 movement)
  4. Alla Marcia, for string quartet
  5. Andante Festivo, for string quartet, JS 34a
  6. String Quartet No.1, TN ii/30 (Romance & Scherzo, other 2 mvts. lost): Romance in G minor
  7. Italian Serenade, for string quartet in G major
  8. Langsamer Satz (Slow Movement), for string quartet

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