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Schoenberg: String Quartets Nos. 3 & 4; Phantasy

Audio Samples

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Quartet for Strings no 3, Op. 30
>Schoenberg, Arnold : Quartet for Strings no 4, Op. 37
>Schoenberg, Arnold : Fantasy for Violin and Piano, Op. 47

Album Summary

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Quartet for Strings no 3, Op. 30
>Schoenberg, Arnold : Quartet for Strings no 4, Op. 37
>Schoenberg, Arnold : Fantasy for Violin and Piano, Op. 47
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

While Schoenberg's final two string quartets inhabit atonal sound worlds, the 'Third' draws on Classical forms such as theme-and-variations, minuet and sonata-rondo, its unsettling opening movement recalling a fairytale picture, 'The Ghostship', its 'Adagio' a movement of spiritual depth and beauty. Schoenberg was particularly pleased with his 'Fourth String Quartet', which follows a creative logic of continual development and variation derived from the music of Bach and Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Wagner. The 'Phantasy' is a virtuosic peroration for violin with commentary from the piano, a prime example of Schoenberg's avowed aim to write 'really new music which, as it rests on tradition, is destined to become a tradition'.

"Robert Craft was put on this earth to produce clear blueprints of Schoenberg and Stravinsky scores." -Gramophone

"The fusion of the familiar and the untrodden remains explosive and exhilarating, certainly as expounded by these players, who vary between the works. In common is the cellist Fred Sherry, veteran of the American modern music scene. The fourth quartet is led by the outstanding Leila Josefowicz." -Sunday Times

"The two works sound fresh and vital, neither four-square in their phrasing nor rhythmically stolid. The Sherry Quartet presents both with total naturalness, giving the music all the space it needs to breathe and express itself." -The Guardian

"the energy and eloquence of Fred Sherry and his colleagues ensure that the effect is never merely strenuous, never turgid. Though often aggressive, the music dances and sings...Thorough but life-affirming, this performance sums up the spirit of the whole disc in admirably uncompromising fashion." -Gramophone Magazine

American Record Guide
... Fred Sherry Quartet take this music to a level that is clearly beyond notes is a joy. Everything about 3 is perfect. The articulation in the Intermezzo is some of the most driven, clear, and crisp I have ever heard. The Rondo is a transcendent moment that I think many musicians dream of only achieving once. These musicians certainly do. Their playing is filled with life, determination, and uncompromising drive. They know what they want, and I fear, as I listen, that the unapologetic character of Schoenberg will get the best of them, whether technically or rhetorically - yet it never happens. They own this music.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York.



Reviews

Schoenberg as edgy expressionist
Schoenberg's later string quartets played with energy and immediacy. The Fred Sherry Quartet emphasises radicalism in music that other performers often treat as Romantic: http://www.classical-cd-reviews.com/2010/11/schoenberg-string-quartets-3-and-4-fred.html
Submitted on 11/20/10 by Gavin Dixon 
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Works Details

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Quartet for Strings no 3, Op. 30
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (06/01/2007/06/02/2007)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1927

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Quartet for Strings no 4, Op. 37
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (10/19/2009/10/20/2009)
  • Running Time: 33 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1936

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Fantasy for Violin and Piano, Op. 47
  • Performers: Christopher Oldfather (Piano); Rolf Schulte (Violin)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1949