Описание CD

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  Наименование CD :
   String Quartets No 1 & 2. Barber String Quartet

Год издания : 1992

Компания звукозаписи : Deutsche Grammophon

Время звучания : 1:04:40

Код CD : dgg 435 864

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Modern Classics)      

Barber String Quartet

Emerson String Quartet

## 1-5, 9-11 - Charles Ives

## 6-8 - Samuel Barber

Across the board, the Emerson String Quartet's performances are polished and powerful. The First SQ, "From the Salvation Army," is appropriately gentle and reverential. The Second is by turns spiky and dissonant and then eerie and mysterious. The Emerson's have a fine sense of pacing. In the Second String Quartet, the timing of each movement is significantly longer than the Clevelanders. But there's never a sense of flagging momentum; in fact, just the opposite. The works have a clear sense of architecture, even in the most dissonant passages, and build to stirring climaxes. The Scherzo and Barber SQ are also well performed. (Incidentally, the Barber SQ contains the original version of the "Adagio for Strings," for which he became famous.)

========= from the cover ==========

Charles Ives and Samuel Barber may seem an unlikely pair, America's premier experimentalist and her most famous modern Romantic. But Ives was a Romantic too, familiar with the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak and committed to the Romantic ideal of capturing in music the essence of emotional experience. Ives wrote his First String Quartet in 1896, when he was 21 and a student at Yale. Like the First and Second Symphonies, the other major works from what might be called his national Romantic period, the First Quartet is tonal, uses traditional forms, and shows a thorough grasp of late-19th-century style. The last three movements were composed for a church service, using themes paraphrased from American hymn tunes, and the first movement is also based on hymns. The quartet thus has the spirit and shape of a Protestant service. The opening movement is a stately fugue based on Missionary Hymn ("From Greenland's icy mountains"). The hymn's first phrase serves as the subject, joined at the second set of entrances by a counter-subject drawn from Coronation ("All hail the power of Jesus' name"). At the climax, the contrasting third phrase of Missionary Hymn enters over a pedal point, and the movement ends with a chorale-like setting of the hymn's final phrase, a variant of the first.

The remaining movements are all in modified ternary form. In the cheerful Allegro, the principal

theme is derived from Beulah Land and that of the contrasting middle section from Shining Shore, two hymns that look forward to the afterlife. Both tunes are so completely reworked that only fragments of each may be recognized, but they lend the themes a strong American flavor and hymnlike character. The meditative third movement theme is based on Nettleton ("Come, Thou Fount of ev'ry blessing"), and here the middle section draws motives from all three hymns. The spirited opening theme of the finale blends figures from Coronation and Webb ("Stand up, stand up for Jesus"). The middle section is adapted from that of the second movement, and the coda combines a complete statement of Webb in the cello with the middle-section theme in the first violin. The recurrence in later movements of material from earlier movements unifies the work, and the appearance of a complete hymn at the end after fragments and paraphrases provides a satisfying conclusion.

The Scherzo for string quartet (1903-04) is a spoof, one of the little experimental pieces in which Ives tried out new techniques "half in fun, half serious." The Scherzo is a sort of quodlibet, with a string of fragmentary quotations in the cello, including bits of "Bringing in the Sheaves," "Massa's in de Cold Ground," "My Old Kentucky Home" and "Sailor's Hornpipe," accompanied by dissonant repeated figures. This closes with a polytonal canon on "Streets of Cairo," a tune associated with belly dancing. The slower Trio is a study in combining different divisions of the measure, starting with four against sis and working up to two against nine against six-Icon.

Ives's Second String Quartet (1907-13) sounds, wildly different from his First, but still has a Romantic heart. It is programmatic, illustrating the bond between four men "who converse, discuss, argue (in re 'Politick11), fight, shake hands, shut up - ihcn walk up the mountain side to view the firmament!" The first movement, "Discussions," is dissonant and mostly slow. One high poinl is a fail chromatic passage with fragments of patriotic tunes, like a spirited conversation about politics in which national ambitions ("Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean") are challenged by a southerner ("Dixie"), who is interrupted by a northerner ("Marching Through Georgia") before both are quieted by an appeal for national unity ("Hail! Columbia," based on Washington's inaugural march).

The second movement, "Arguments," is faster and more intense, with atonal canons, disagreements about what kind of music to play (the second violin's attempt at a Romantic cadenza is shouted down by the others), and another quodlibet, now including themes from Tchaikovsky's Sixth, Hrahms's Second, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphonies alongside the American songs.

The finale, "The Call of the Mountains," shows Ives's mature Romanticism. It begins slowly and softly, with a few hymnlike motives in a dissonant setting, and builds gradually to a statement of Be-thany ("Nearer, my God. to Thee") by the viola, sometimes intermixed with "Westminster Chimes". After further development, the movement concludes with Uiesc melodies high in the first violin in a serene D major over a descending whole-tone scale. In this majestic sound, the arguments are set aside, as the men ascend the mountain together and come "Nearer, my God, to Thee."

Samuel Barber has been dismissed by some as old-fashioned, but his music has proven repeatedly that there is much left to say in traditional language and forms. His String Quartet op. 11 is an early work, written in 1936 when he was 26 and in Europe on a scholarship.

The first movement is a modified sonata form in B minor, with an active first theme of Beethovenian intensity and a more lyrical second theme. The development of these ideas is interspersed with new episodes, leading to a recapitulation. After the slow second movement, the brief finale returns to first-movement material, with a varied reprise of the first theme and episodes from the development, But the B flat minor second movement is the heart of the work. Over rich, sustained chords that seem at once to urge the harmony forward yet render it almost motionless, a melody unwinds slowly in the violin, then viola, then cello, rising to a shimmering climax high in the range of the quartet, then falling back to close as it began. The sense of suspension, of slowed-down time, creates an impression of deep feeling that can scarcely be borne, like inexpressible grief. This movement became Barber's best-known work, in the arrangement for string orchestra known as the Adagio for Strings.

- J. Peier Burkholder

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Наименование трека



   1 Andante Con Moto         0:04:54 Charles Ives / String Quartet No. 1
   2 Allegro         0:05:35 -"-
   3 Adagio Cantabile         0:05:35 -"-
   4 Allegro Marziale         0:05:24 -"-
   5 Fast-Slow-Allegro         0:01:42 Charles Ives / Scherzo 'Holding Your Own'
   6 Molto Allegro         0:07:34 Samuel Barber / String Quartet Op. 11
   7 Molto Adagio         0:06:53 -"-
   8 Presto         0:02:13 -"-
   9 Discussions         0:08:55 Charles Ives / String Quartet No. 2
   10 Arguments         0:04:38 -"-
   11 The Call Of The Mountains         0:11:17 -"-


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