Glazunov: String Quartets Nos.3 & 4 / Zemlinsky Quartet, Christoph Ess

Audio Samples

>Glazunov, Alexander : Quartet for Strings no 3 in G major ("Slavonic"), Op. 26
>Glazunov, Alexander : Idyll for Horn and Strings
>Glazunov, Alexander : Quartet for Strings no 4 in A minor, Op. 64

Album Summary

>Glazunov, Alexander : Quartet for Strings no 3 in G major ("Slavonic"), Op. 26
>Glazunov, Alexander : Idyll for Horn and Strings
>Glazunov, Alexander : Quartet for Strings no 4 in A minor, Op. 64
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Composer, conductor and teacher Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) served as director of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory between 1905 and 1928. A student of Balakirev and Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov himself taught such famous composers as Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Today, his own works are being rediscovered and appreciated for the perfection of their craftsmanship. On this SACD of Glazunov's chamber music from Praga, the Zemlinsky Quartet performs his third and fourth String Quartets and, joined by Christopher, the Idyll for French horn and string quartet.

Gramophone Magazine
The Zemlinskys play them perfectly for that they are, welcoming their harmonic inevitabilities as positive rather than a let-down when the music has built up to a hiatus and taken - as it often does - a frustratingly anodyne turn. They add a dimension that could easily be lacking in other hands.

Fanfare Magazine
The Zemlinsky Quartet, in league with Christoph Ess for the brief Idyll for horn and string quartet, does as much for these works as anyone possibly could. Playing is elegant and as characterful and expressive as the music allows, and Praga's SACD is gloriously rich and full, a magnificent example for how a string quartet recording should sound.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
The Zemlinsky (formerly the Penguin) Quartet is from the Czech Republic. Their uniform sound has many Czech qualities, but their style is relaxed and they sing and dance. Textures are clear and balanced, and intonation is as good as you're going to get. Their competition is mainly from the Utrecht Quartet, which has recorded all seven quartets (Nov/Dec 2005, Sept/Oct 2004, May/June 2012). We have also reviewed the Third by the Shostakovich Quartet (Jan/Feb 1994). The Shostakovich performance I know, the Fifth, is big, warm, and very Russian. The Utrechts I've heard (3,5, and 6) are brilliant, efficient, more international, and yes, Dutch. They make the works sound more modern and severe than they are, and they come a cropper in the finale of the Third. The Zemlinsky occupies a middle ground, but they do it so well that I like them as much or more than the Shostakovich and better than the Utrecht. The sound is outstanding, the notes very good.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Martinek Studio, Prague (2011-09-04_2011-09-05&2011-).



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Works Details

>Glazunov, Alexander : Quartet for Strings no 3 in G major ("Slavonic"), Op. 26
  • Ensemble: Zemlinsky Quartet
  • Notes: Martinek Studio, Prague (2011-09-04_2011-09-05_2011-)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1888

>Glazunov, Alexander : Idyll for Horn and Strings
  • Performer: Christoph EB (French Horn)
  • Notes: Martinek Studio, Prague (2011-09-04_2011-09-05_2011-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: ?1884

>Glazunov, Alexander : Quartet for Strings no 4 in A minor, Op. 64
  • Notes: Martinek Studio, Prague (2011-09-04_2011-09-05_2011-)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1894