String Quartets

Music Genre
All releases with Classical String Quartets
Schubert: The Death And The Maiden & Janácek: Intimate LettersSchubert: The Death And The Maiden & Janácek: Intimate Letters
String Quartets
Schubert: The Death And The Maiden
Janácek: Intimate Letters
Leos Janácek: String Quartet No.2 "Intimate Letters"
& 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
HD Recording · DDD · c. 65 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayApple MusicAmazon MusicTidaliTunes MasteredFor...HD TracksQobuz HDeClassical HDPrime Phonic HDReview

An extraordinary reading that rises to the moment

The severe sound environment of the Maulbronn Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the German state of Baden-Württemberg that dates to the twelfth century, has given rise to a series of recordings covering varying aspects of music from the Western concert tradition. That sound environment is put to intelligent use in this string quartet recital, which pairs well-worn pieces but gives them unusually intense interpretations that are heightened by the hard resonance of the sound. Sample the very beginning of the Schubert "String Quartet in D minor, D. 810" "Death and the Maiden", to get yourself into the disc; the opening chords might be described as slashing. Move on to the second-movement variation set built on the song that gives the quartet its name; where many quartets let a sort of debilitated gloom hang over much of the movement, everything here is a life-and-death struggle. The stronger of the two performances on the disc is that of Janácek's 1928 "String Quartet No. 2," subtitled "Intimate Letters," a hypersubjective work whose emotional content could have been drawn straight from one of Sigmund Freud's contemporaneous psychotherapy sessions. The work is as dissonant as almost any other of its period that does not completely reject tonality, but the dissonance is used in the service of untrammelled expression. The letters evoked are those between the composer and his married mistress. Yet the Amati Quartet's performance, ringing around the monastery walls, brings to mind, to use John le Carré's memorable simile, thoughts that are like birds stuck in a greenhouse. It's an extraordinary reading that rises to the moment offered by a specific performance space, and the disc as a whole, while not for those who like the emotional temperature of their classical music kept to medium, is decisively recommended to those wanting to try out the Maulbronn series.

James Manheim, All Music Guide

Review

I enjoyed it tremendously

It took me completely unawares when the dramatic opening bars of "Death and the Maiden" gripped me by the throat and threatened immediate life-extinction; I felt as if I were living the story myself, and though no maiden, I could certainly relate to her death-obsessed plight. This version is almost orchestral in feeling. While it is true that there is a huge amount of reverb in this space - well, it is a monastery - this only partially accounts for the destructive vehemence that the Amati gives this work. They see and saw their way as if it were the world's last concert, or the devil himself was in the audience. I enjoyed it tremendously...

Steven E. Ritter, FANFARE Magazine

Review

Another thumbs up for this extremely enterprising German label

The enterprising German label K&K has made a name for themselves by issuing critically acclaimed recordings of oratorios and other sacred works in the haunting location of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Maulbronn Monastery. This CD features two string quartets by masters in the genre, Franz Schubert and Leoš Janácek played by the legendary Amati Quartet, one of the finest ensembles currently recording. Both works come across quite beautifully in the sumptuous acoustic and as expected, the Amati play with their exemplary brilliance especially in the "Intimate Letters" which is certainly very hard to bring off. This is another thumbs up for this extremely enterprising German label.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

Review

HI-RES AUDIO

Awarded by Qobuz with the HI-RES AUDIO

March 2012

String Quartets by Veress & BeethovenString Quartets by Veress & Beethoven
Veress & Beethoven
String Quartets
The Orpheus Quartet plays
Sandor Veress: String Quartet No. 2
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2 "Rasumovsky Quartet No. 2"
Franz Schubert: Stringquartet in C minor, D 703
Charles-André Linale - 1st Violin · Emilian Piedicuta - 2nd Violin
Emile Cantor - Viola · Laurentiu Sbarcea - Cello
A concert recording from the German
Unesco World Heitage Site Maulbronn Monastery
DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayAmazon MusicTidalReview

A terrific performance...

A terrific performance and the equally rare chance to hear one of Europe's most thoughtful Ensembles. Sándor Veress has been overshadowed by his Hungarian compatriots, but on the rare occasions when I encounter his music I always find it worth hearing. His First Quartet, premiered in Prague in 1935 but written four years earlier, is demonstrably from the same soil as Bartók and Kodály, but quite individual. Its first movement is in slow-fast-slow form, after which comes an Andante and finally a highly rhythmic Vivo. The German based Orpheus Quartet gives a terrific performance to end this concert, recorded live in the convent at Maulbronn... The disc is worth pursuing for the rare Veress and the equally rare chance to hear one of Europe´s most thoughtful ensembles. Since the disc was made, the Orpheus has changed its second violinist and we have had the appalling news of the death of leader Charles-André Linale.

Tully Potter, The Strad UK

Review

***** A real feeling of being in the concert

I first heard the Orpheus Quartet in Spain and have collected their studio recordings. I was eager to hear them again, and K&K's series of live concert recordings from Maulbronn has given me an opportunity to hear how they were playing two years on. However, whilst writing this review, I am saddened to learn from the Orpheus Quartet website that their leader, Charles-André Linale, was killed in a car crash last month. Chamber music is given in the lay refectory, and reverberation is long during pauses after Beethoven's sf chords, but you soon get used to that, and it is more than compensated for by the bloom on the sound - you have a real feeling of being there with the audience. The Orpheus four have exactly the right feeling for the not-easy Schubert Quartettsatz and Beethoven's Op. 59/2, which can be a long haul; with all repeats, it was gripping from beginning to end. In this June 2002 concert their novelty was a quartet by Sandor Veress, an excellent composer heard infrequently in UK. Without any studio editing, the accuracy of these performances is remarkable and testifies to the good health of this top string quartet in what, it transpires, will have been one of their last recorded concerts with their multinational founder members; the exceptional performance of the Beethoven a worthy memorial for Charles-André Linale.

Andy Smith on Amazon.com

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