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Zemlinsky: String Quartets, Vol. 2 / Escher String Quartet

Album Summary

>Zemlinsky, Alexander v. : Quartet for Strings no 1 in A major, Op. 4
>Zemlinsky, Alexander v. : Quartet for Strings no 2, Op. 15
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

By 1896, at the age of twenty-five, Alexander Zemlinsky was one of the rising stars in the Viennese musical firmament. His first opera had been written, he had won a number of awards, and he had earned the support of Johannes Brahms. In July of the same year he began writing his First String Quartet, a work of sweeping lyricism, rich dance patterns, and self-confidence, couched within the bounds of a relatively conventional palette. Seventeen years later he began his Second String Quartet. Kaleidoscopic in effect, mood, and technical demands, and redolent of the music of the new century - led by his brother-in-law Arnold Schoenberg - it was to place Zemlinsky securely in the European avant-garde.

The Guardian, 12th June 2014
A superb performance of the Second Quartet, one of Zemlinsky's greatest and most radical achievements...The Eschers sustain the huge span of music magnificently, while making sure that every tiny detail of Zemlinksy's meticulous string writing is heard.

BBC Music Magazine, September 2014
The Eschers take the music by the scruff of its neck, playing with tremendous virtuosity and subtlety of nuance. Recorded in first-class sound, they hold the listener spellbound from first bar to last. Overall, this recording is a tremendous achievement by any standards.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2014
Both are likeable pieces with one foot in the future, the Escher Quartet on this new recording alert and responsive...a performance that probes the depths and surges forwards with a sense of inevitability that, given what the century had in store, is 'authentic' in the truest possible sense.

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
Both of these works are new to me, and they are impressive. Composed when Zemlinsky was only 25, Quartet 1 is clearly influenced by Brahms, particularly in the "occasional play of duple and triple rhythms" and "expressive turns of phrase", as described in the notes. On the whole the work is extremely attractive. Quartet 2 is very different. While it uses a key signature (two sharps) and eventually settles in D, it goes everywhere else along the way. The Eschers play impeccably and with emotional depth. Despite the complexity of the score, the balance is always perfect, with each instrument leading and following as required. I am very glad to have this.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, Florida, USA (05/09/2012-05/12/2012).



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Works Details

>Zemlinsky, Alexander v. : Quartet for Strings no 1 in A major, Op. 4
  • Ensemble: Escher String Quartet
  • Notes: Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, Florida, USA (05/09/2012-05/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1896

>Zemlinsky, Alexander v. : Quartet for Strings no 2, Op. 15
  • Notes: Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, Florida, USA (05/09/2012-05/12/2012)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1913-1915