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Taneyev: String Quartets Nos. 2 & 4 / Carpe Diem String Quartet

Album Summary

>Taneyev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 2 in C major, Op. 5
>Taneyev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 4 in A minor, Op. 11
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Carpe Diem String Quartet's first volume of Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev's string quartets (8570437) gained critical accolades both for the revival of this important repertoire and for the ensemble's sensitive and assured interpretations. A gift to musicians and listeners in search of rewarding new repertoire, Taneyev's Second and Fourth String Quartets are masterfully crafted, the former piece possessing the inner energy of Beethoven, the latter being his most dramatic quartet.

American Record Guide
Carpe Diem is... exceptional and deserve praise for an admirable and electrifying go at Taneyev. They have flawless technique and appropriate feeling.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Mees Hall, Capital University Conservatory Of Music, Co (11/23/2007-11/25/2007).



Reviews

Russian Quartets
Serge Ivanovich Taneyev studied composition with Tchaikovsky, but ultimately replaced his friend as a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. A virtuoso pianist, Taneyev gave the world premiers of Tchaikovsky’s last two piano concertos, and he ultimately came to be regarded as Russia’s greatest master of counterpoint. His students became legendary figures in Russian music: Scriabin, Gliere, Rachmaninov, and Prokofiev. The latter reported that a sign was permanently affixed to his master’s door which read, “Taneyev is not in!” The mischievous sense of humor manifested in that sign also permeates much of Taneyev’s music. His catalog includes four symphonies, at least nine quartets, a bevy of other string chamber music, ethereally beautiful choruses, two powerful cantatas, and a stunning opera—much of it unpublished during the composer’s lifetime. Naxos is recording the complete Quartets. This is volume two. Quartet 2 opens with an impassioned allegro that’s chock-full of memorable melodic material. The style is reminiscent of Tchaikovsky, but with far more complex counterpoint. Indeed, several hearings are needed to reveal the score’s myriad mysteries. Alas, the remainder of the work fails to live up to the promise of this remarkable opening gambit. That may explain why this music—along with Quartet 4—has never come close to entering the chamber music repertory. That said, the finale is quite enjoyable, even in a performance as dry and deadpan as the Carpe Diem String Quartet’s. Quartet 4 is darker and more agitated than its discmate, as befitting a composition whose home key is A Minor. Although Taneyev was a pianist by trade, he knew how to write effectively for strings, which compensates somewhat for the lack of invention in his themes. The scherzo seems frivolous after the intensity of the opening, and the adagio meanders for over nine minutes without ever blossoming into a truly memorable experience. Again, the lively, light-hearted finale saves the day. The CBSQ deserves kudos for rescuing this often-engaging music from total obscurity. Still, more passionate advocates would help these scores make a better impression, especially with listeners who may not already know this neglected composer. That said, they do provide a gripping performance of the first movement of Quartet 2, but elsewhere they play cautiously and with precious little Russian soul. The best introduction to Taneyev is still his effervescent Symphony 4, which is available in a fine performance by the Novosibirsk Academic Symphony conducted by Thomas Sanderling on Naxos 8.572067. If you enjoy that music and the quartets of Tchaikovsky and Borodin you might want to sample this new disc.
Submitted on 07/15/11 by Tom Godell 
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Works Details

>Taneyev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 2 in C major, Op. 5
  • Notes: Mees Hall, Capital University Conservatory Of Music, Columbus, OH (11/23/2007-11/25/2007)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1894-1895

>Taneyev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 4 in A minor, Op. 11
  • Notes: Mees Hall, Capital University Conservatory Of Music, Columbus, OH (11/23/2007-11/25/2007)
  • Running Time: 35 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1898-1899