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Hindemith: String Quartets, Vol. 2 / Quartets nos 5, 6 & 7 / Amar Quartet

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> String Quartet No. 5, Op. 32 - I. Lebhafte Halbe
> String Quartet No. 5, Op. 32 - II. Sehr langsam, aber immer fliessend
> String Quartet No. 5, Op. 32 - III. Kleiner Marsch
> String Quartet No. 5, Op. 32 - IV. Passacaglia
> String Quartet No. 6 in E flat major - I. Sehr ruhig und ausdrucksvoll
> String Quartet No. 6 in E flat major - II. Lebhaft und sehr energisch
> String Quartet No. 6 in E flat major - III. Ruhig. Variationen
> String Quartet No. 6 in E flat major - IV. Breit und energisch
> String Quartet No. 7 in E flat major - I. Fast
> String Quartet No. 7 in E flat major - II. Quiet. Scherzando
> String Quartet No. 7 in E flat major - III. Slow
> String Quartet No. 7 in E flat major - IV. Canon: Moderately fast - Gay

Album Summary

>Hindemith, Paul : Quartet for Strings no 5, Op. 32
>Hindemith, Paul : Quartet for Strings no 6 in E flat major
>Hindemith, Paul : Quartet for Strings no 7 in E flat major
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

As an elite string player, whose Amar Quartet was one of Europe's most exploratory chamber groups, Hindemith was perfectly placed to write his powerful sequence of string quartets. One of the greatest quartets of its time, the technically sophisticated No. 5, Op. 32 reveals Hindemith as a master of the medium. Twenty years were to pass before No. 6 in E flat, written in America, which reveals similar qualities of control, whilst No. 7 in E flat was written for himself to play in a domestic setting with female students from Yale University and his wife, an amateur cellist. It concludes one of the twentieth century's greatest cycles of quartets.

ClassicsToday.com
This second volume in Naxos' series of the complete Hindemith quartets contains two of the composer's largest and best works in the medium. The Fifth Quartet (1923) represents an apotheosis of the composer's early, experimental phase. The music is chromatic and relentlessly contrapuntal, but also brilliant and even fun (in its third movement). It culminates in an imposing passacaglia that, like the opening double fugue, is remarkably easy to follow while at the same time sounding amazingly modern.

As with the previous releases in this series, the performances are all outstanding. The Amar Quartet, named after Hindemith's own ensemble of the early 20th century, plays this music with a proprietary gusto worthy of the name. All of these pieces are, as already noted, highly contrapuntal - even the genial Seventh Quartet ends with a canon; but the playing here never sounds dry or mechanical, and the sonics are first rate. Connoisseurs of chamber music will find this disc an endless source of pleasure.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
There is a welcome reprieve in II, a beautifully expansive movement that sometimes allows the individual string voices to sing alone. Pure coincidence coupled with a case of great musical minds thinking alike. The similarities are striking. The Seventh Quartet, Hindemith's last, is a delightfully cheerful work that he wrote in 1945 to play as hausmusik with his wife and a couple of Yale students. It is as light as the Fifth is dense, and is just as good. William Bender reviewed the first volume of the set (N/D 2012), and I heartily agree with him about the high quality of Hindemith's music and of the Amar Quartet's interpretations.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Groáer Saal, Radiostudio Zürich, Schweizer Radio DRS, Z.



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Works Details

>Hindemith, Paul : Quartet for Strings no 5, Op. 32
  • Ensemble: Amar String Quartet
  • Running Time: 29 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1923

>Hindemith, Paul : Quartet for Strings no 6 in E flat major
  • Running Time: 24 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943

>Hindemith, Paul : Quartet for Strings no 7 in E flat major
  • Running Time: 15 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1945