Notes & Reviews:
All Music Guide - Mike Brownell
Written in the same year, in the same city, by two of history's most prominent musical figures, Schubert's String Quartet No. 15 in G major and Beethoven's final string quartet, No. 16, shares much overlap despite the fact that the two men likely never met. This intriguing Bridge album encourages listeners to compare the sometimes subtle similarities and equally stark differences in these two quartets whose authors shared a mutual admiration but approached the string quartet from different directions. The Schubert quartet is filled with energy and sharp contrasts, while Beethoven's focuses more on the fine level of detail and intimacy he had mastered in his string quartet writing. Performing these magnificent works is the New Orford String Quartet, an ensemble that shares many of the positive attributes of the original Orford String Quartet. The group's two violinists, who share duties on the first stand, possess a bright, penetrating sound that is tempered by the punchy, rich tone produced by cellist Brian Manker. The resulting tone is balanced both in tone and in volume, providing a uniquely clear perspective on every line of the score. Like the senior Orfords, the New Orford's interpretations are driven and vivacious while still achieving moments of complete serenity as in the Beethoven Lento. Bridge captures the appealing sound and youthful energy with a warm, detailed, and developed recorded sound. Listeners can only hope that the New Orford will continue to commit the remainder of both Schubert's and Beethoven's quartets to recordings.
Recording information: Multi-Media Room, Schulich School of Music, Mcgill Univ (12/2010).
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Works DetailsSchubert, Franz : Quartet for Strings no 15 in G major, D 887/Op 161
- Running Time: 46 min. 35 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Chamber Music
- Written: 1826
Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135
- Running Time: 27 min. 38 sec.
- Period Time: Classical
- Written: 1826