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Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev (1856-1915): Complete String Quartets, Vol. 4 - String Quartets Nos. 6 and 9 / Carpe Diem Quartet

Album Summary

>Taneyev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 9 in A major
>Taneyev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 6 in B flat major, Op. 19
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

A pupil of Tchaikovsky, who called him the 'Russian Bach', Sergey Taneyev is best known today for his four symphonies, although he also composed a sizeable body of chamber music, including nine complete String Quartets. Quartet No. 9 is a memorably melodic work, while the beautifully crafted Quartet No. 6, his last completed quartet, is rather more austere, though marked by a playful Jig, and even more masterful in construction.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2016
[Quartet 'No. 9'] was critiqued by Taneyev's close friend Tchaikovsky: he particularly approved of the scherzo - one can hear why in Carpe Diem's lively and engaging account, utterly transforming its character from the rather dozy and worthy impression given by the Taneyev Quartet.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Distler Hall, Granoff Music Center, Tufts University De (05/29/2014-05/30/2014); Jemison Auditorium, Sanborn Hall, Ohio Wesleyan Univers (05/29/2014-05/30/2014); Distler Hall, Granoff Music Center, Tufts University De (12/15/2013-12/16/2013); Jemison Auditorium, Sanborn Hall, Ohio Wesleyan Univers (12/15/2013-12/16/2013).



Reviews

Two lovely string quartets from Tchaikovsky’s student…
This CD is the fourth in the series of the Carpe Diem String Quartet’s project to record the complete chamber music output of Sergey Taneyev, a student of Tchaikovsky and a teacher himself of Rachmaninov and Scriabin. And wonderful music this is, almost Brahmsian in nature (Taneyev himself is occasionally referred to as the “Russian Brahms” as well as the “Russian Bach”, the latter due to his strong and dutiful use of counterpoint) but colored with a sense of Russian dignity and pride.

String Quartet No. 9 is featured first, and the informative liner notes discuss the fact that the score was donated to the Tchaikovsky museum due to Tchaikovsky’s handwritten notes on the score. Upon first listen it is clear that the 3rd movement Scherzo is an exceptionally well constructed element, and it is gratifying to note that Tchaikovsky himself felt that this energetic movement was the strongest of the piece. It is delightful, and shows clearly the sense of craftsmanship that is one of Taneyev’s strengths. The piece as a whole is extremely pleasing to listen to, with the members of the quartet giving and taking in the musical conversation in a warm and enlightening way.

String Quartet No. 6, the other work on this recording, while not nearly as “dramatic”, is intellectually stimulating and is particularly lyrical in scope and form. The second movement ends in a somewhat reflective and somber way, but not in a way that is filled with sadness. For me, this movement was the crux of the quartet, and the performers brought it to life in an amazing and fulfilling way. The third movement is playful and effervescent, with joyful string playing in the violins leading the way, while the fourth brought the work to a very satisfying close.

The members of the Carpe Diem String Quartet seem to fit together seamlessly (which requires a *ton* of work behind the scenes), but the result is amazing emotional shifts that move organically within the lyrical framework provided by the composer. The harmonic material lends itself to both playing in the background, as well as serious active listening and contemplation. I will most certainly be picking up the other recordings in this series. Strongly recommended.

Submitted on 04/04/16 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Taneyev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 9 in A major
  • Ensemble: Carpe Diem String Quartet
  • Notes: Distler Hall, Granoff Music Center, Tufts University Department of Music, Medford, Massachusetts, US (12/15/2013-12/16/2013)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1883

>Taneyev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 6 in B flat major, Op. 19
  • Notes: Jemison Auditorium, Sanborn Hall, Ohio Wesleyan University, USA (05/29/2014-05/30/2014)
  • Running Time: 33 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1903-1905