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Mendelssohn: String Quartets Nos. 5 & 6 / The Escher String Quartet

Album Summary

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Quartet for Strings no 5 in E flat major, Op. 44 no 3
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Pieces (4) for string quartet, Op. 81
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Quartet for Strings no 6 in F minor, Op. 80
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This new release is the final disc in the Escher String Quartet's traversal of Mendelssohn's string quartets. The Strad called the first installment "A deeply rewarding release... and by any standards a distinguished one." Later the same magazine made the sequel its recommendation in the November issue of 2015. Mendelssohn's final quartets, Nos 5 and 6, are featured here alongside his Capriccio and Fugue. The Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80 was a special work in the composer's eyes. The work was written in response to the unexpected death of his beloved sister, Fanny. The piece was published posthumously, as Mendelssohn suffered a number of strokes and died a month after premiering the piece.

MusicWeb International, 14th December 2016
Highly accomplished playing, captured with stunning immediacy.

Gramophone Magazine, December 2016
They combine highly disciplined playing, communicative warmth and a clear empathy for the composer in hand... it is impossible not to be impressed by the verve and precision with which the Escher launch into the last quartet... the Capriccio has a real lilt, while the Fugue possesses tremendous clarity and a sense of reactivity between the players.

The Guardian, 8th September 2016
Fabulous unanimity, tonal warmth and care over detail...All the performances are very fine, but the Escher's account of Op 81 is truly exceptional, driven by an intensity, and a scarcely concealed rage, that grips the music from the thrilling opening of the first movement and never slackens throughout.

BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016
The E flat major is given a bright and tender account, with balances judged finely, whether between the instruments or between the myriad emotions that flash through its fizzing duration... the Escher Quartet's playing [in the F minor] is full of propulsive intensity that never stints on anguish, but they manage to keep their lightness of touch, letting the music make its points with swift, pure directness... a wonderful disc.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (05/2015).



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Works Details

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Quartet for Strings no 5 in E flat major, Op. 44 no 3
  • Ensemble: The Escher String Quartet
  • Running Time: 34 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 02/06/1838

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Pieces (4) for string quartet, Op. 81
  • Running Time: 10 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1827-1847

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Quartet for Strings no 6 in F minor, Op. 80
  • Running Time: 25 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 09/1847