Schubert: The Death And The Maiden & Janácek: Intimate Letters
& Janácek: Intimate Letters
String Quartet No.2
& Franz Schubert:
String Quartet in D Minor
"The death and the Maiden",
performed by the Amati Quartet.
A concert recording from the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
CD · DDD · c. 65 Minutes
aa da-da-da dam... Smile, accuse me of being euphoric, but even after listening to so many concerts, this particular recording is one of the most moving moments that I have ever been privileged to witness at the Maulbronn Monastery. A breathless, tangible thrill from the first touch of the bow to the very last note. What really makes this recording dramatic is the way the composers complement each other perfectly. These compositions by Schubert and Janácek are some of the most beautiful in the entire quartet literature, and the ambience of the Maulbronn Monastery lends a rare prosaic expressiveness to this interpretation. The sheer class of the Amati String Quartet is shown in the way the recording captures not just the artistic perfection of their performance, but the atmosphere of the hall as well - indeed, the artists become totally carried away and create a work of art so moving that it literally - and audibly- takes the audience's breath away.
er Tod und das Mädchen ("Death and the Maiden") by Franz Schubert gives us dramatic, passionate elation paired with an alarmingly serene wisdom. It was composed during Schubert's late phase (1826-28), which also includes such works as the song-cycle Winterreise ("A Winter's Journey"). Schubert's dance of death, based on the poem by Matthius Claudius poem, inspires few clear moments of comfort and confidence, and then only in a major key variation and in the Trio. There is nothing programmatic about it, even though the listener is granted considerable insight into Schubert's frame of mind in his later years.
ntimate Letters by Leos Janácek, the Moravian composer, is one of the most unconventional pieces of chamber music written in the early 20th century. It is consistently free of centuries-old composition techniques and the classical forms of the string quartet. The work speaks to us in the language of our century and also has a personal slant to it: it is impulsively turbulent and, at the same time, lyrically transfigured. It was inspired by the composer's subjective experience of a love relationship and imparts a deep world of emotions that can never be expressed in words...
he Amati String Quartet came into being in 1981 and was shortly afterwards awarded the Evian 'Premier Grand Prix du Concours International' and the Art Prize of the City of Zürich, as well as first prize at the Karl Klingler Competition in Munich. Their CD recordings of the Schostakowitch Quartets 3 & 7 and Szymanovski's Op. 56 and Ravel received the German Record Critics' Award. The recording of the Haydn String Quartets, Op. 50 won them the French award 'Choc du monde de la musique'. In recent years, the Amati Quartet has chalked up one success after another, with performances at the Musikverein in Vienna, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London's Wigmore Hall, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, the Kölner Philharmonie, Berlin's Konzerthaus and New York's Carnegie Hall.
"...one of the most amazing concerts I ever attended." (Sir Yehudi Menuhin)
"A Interpretation, unheard since the best times of the Juillard-Quartett." (FAZ)
"Since the early 50s (Juillard-Quartett) it was'nt possible to listen to such a recording of the Bartók-string-quartetts. This is the best recording of the Bartók-quartetts at all." (In Tune, Japan/USA)
Willi Zimmermann & Katarzyna Nawrotek ~ Violin
Nicolas Corti ~ Viola · Claudius Herrmann ~ Cello