Notes & Reviews:
The EMERSON STRING QUARTET stands alone in the history of string quartets with an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades: nine Grammy® Awards (including two for Best Classical Album, an unprecedented honor for a chamber music group), three Gramophone Awards, and the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. After 36 years of extensive touring and recording, the Emerson Quartet continues to perform with the same benchmark integrity, energy and commitment that it has demonstrated since it was formed in 1976.
For their new album, Journeys, Emerson String Quartet performs two string sextets from the 1890's, Souvenir de Florence by Tchaikovsky and Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) by Arnold Schoenberg. This is the quartet's first recording of anything by Tchaikovsky since the 1980's and its first ever recording of a piece by Schoenberg. They are joined on both of these sextets by two frequent collaborators, American violinist, Paul Neubauer and British cellist, Colin Carr. Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence owes its title to the fact that the main theme of its slow movement was conceived while the composer was staying in Florence. The work is notable for its combination of warm Italianate lyricism and Germanic rigor with Russian dance and song. Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht is the composer's first important work and is recognized as a masterpiece of late Romanticism. Unusual for a chamber piece, it is a symphonic poem inspired by a poem by Richard Dehmel. "Our new album embodies the idea of "journeys" on several levels," says Eugene Drucker. "The wide spectrum of colors, moods and compositional techniques in Tchaikovsky's passionate Souvenir de Florence could be a journey from Russia to Italy and back again. Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht depicts more of an internal journey from anguish and psychological torment to acceptance and love."
The new album from America's greatest quartet.
American Record Guide, November/December 2013
Listening to the Tchaikovsky, I detect in the Emersons' playing a certain reliability and polish that sometimes gets in their way. Yes, every individual moment is beautiful; it's the connection between these beautiful moments.
Recording information: LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, New York.
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Works DetailsTchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Sextet for Strings in D major, Op. 70 "Souvenir de Florence"
- Performers: Paul Neubauer (Viola); Colin Carr (Cello)
- Ensemble: Emerson String Quartet
- Notes: LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, New York (09/14/2012-09/17/2012)
- Running Time: 33 min. 48 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Chamber Music
- Written: 1887-1892
Schoenberg, Arnold : Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4
- Performers: Colin Carr (Cello); Paul Neubauer (Viola)
- Notes: LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, New York (05/31/2012-06/03/2012)
- Running Time: 27 min. 10 sec.
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Form: Chamber Music
- Written: 1899