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  Исполнитель(и) :
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  Наименование CD :
   String Quartet Op.51 No.1. Piano Quintet



Год издания : 1989

Компания звукозаписи : CBS Records

Время звучания : 1:14:17

Код CD : cbs mpk 45686

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Symphony)      

Budapest String Quartet

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

It was not at the first try that Brahms composed this masterpiece, which nevertheless seems entirely spontaneous: before reaching its final form for piano and string quartet, the F minor Quintet went through major transformations. It had first been worked up in 1861-62 as a String Quintet for two violins, viola and two cellos. In this form, which would turn out to be imperfect, the work had been enthusiastically received by two friends of Brahms (then aged 29): Clara Schumann and Joseph Joachim. Although, as we shall see, they expressed some reservations, they both admired the work's musical substance (which would not be altered by the recasting). "What a world of forces there is in the first movement", Clara wrote,"and what an adagio.' What melody, from the first to the last note!... I find that the last movement magnificently crowns the whole: the beginning is superb, the second subject contrasts exactly as it should with the first, and the thematic working-out of the development is really ingenious. In a word, it's a masterpiece!" As for Joachim, he considered that it was a "work of the greatest importance", that it had "great force", and that the movements combined "into a perfect whole!"

Joachim also observed, however, that in this instrumental grouping the quintet did not "sound" clearly. Clara had a similar reservation, saying that the five instruments did not constitute a solid support for the musical material and adding that some of the themes and developments called for the piano.

This first version for strings was therefore abandoned: Brahms did not publish it and finally destroyed the manuscript (it was, however, reconstructed in 1947 by the British musicologist Sebastian H. Brown, who published it after a minute study of the existing versions).

In the following year (1863) Brahms drew from the first a second version -known today as "Opus 34b"- transforming the work into a Sonata for Two Pianos (published in this form in 1872). After a first performance given by Brahms himself and the famous pianist Tausig. the work was played often, notably by Clara Schumann and Anton Rubinstein. This version is still in the repertoire of two-piano music.

Nevertheless this was not yet the final version. Here is how Clara Schumann encouraged Brahms to write a new one: "It is a splendid piece, but it cannot be called a sonata; the score is full of ideas that require the full orchestra... I beg you to look it over once more."

Brahms did so during the summer of 1864, but he did not give Clara complete satisfaction; he adopted the piano quintet formation, which had been suggested to him by the conductor Hermann Levi, who, once this third version was finished, exclaimed: "The quintet is more beautiful than I can say. Anyone who did not know it in its earlier versions for string quintet or two pianos would never guess that it was not initially conceived for the present instrumental combination... Nothing like it has been heard since 1828!" (Over the signature of Hermann Levi this date meant that nothing so beautiful had been composed since the death of Schubert.)

In this final, definitive form the work was dedicated to Princess Anna of Hesse, who had followed the score through its transformations and had always been interested in it.

The first movement dominates the four by its grandeur and power and also by a vigourous inspiration recalling the north German verve of Brahms's first piano sonatas. It is an amply developed, sonata-form Allegro non troppo based upon three main themes. The development is remarkable for the surprising ease with which it modulates. And the recapitulation is crowned by a long, profoundly poetic coda.

The Andante, un poco adagio is a lyrical movement constructed on a single main theme enriched by three secondary ideas. Even in his youth Brahms showed himself particularly generous as concerns themes.

The third movement, Scherzo: Allegro, is thoroughly in the spirit of the north German fantastic poetry dear to the composer from Hamburg. This Scherzo is well worked out and strongly articulated in the manner of the great scherzos of Beethoven. It has the epic character of a ballad, except in the central trio in C major, which is noble and folksong-like.

Although the first three movements were remarkable for their thematic richness, the finale, Poco sostenuto; Allegro non troppo; Presto non troppo is richer still. This was one of the first times Brahms created a synthesis of sonata form and the rondo, which would become one of his favorite techniques: it is therefore a rather complex movement. The Poco sostenuto is a kind of introduction built upon two themes, and it seems to progress from the dark towards the light. The Allegro non troppo is a sonata allegro without a development -or more precisely in which the development is treated like a rondo: it includes no less than four main themes, which are joined by several secondary ideas. And the Presto non troppo is a grand closing episode that at first sounds like a development, then to a certain extent like a scherzo, and finally turns out to be a coda. Once this grand finale has emerged from the ambiguous penumbra of its opening, it is, overall, robustly gay, thus forming a contrast with the first Allegro non troppo, which was touching and rather fantastic.

The Quintet Opus 34, which is one of the nineteenth century's most beautiful chamber music scores, shows how well Brahms had learned his lesson from Beethoven while keeping his own originality completely intact and how greatly he renewed and regenerated a tradition that imposed itself upon his romanticism as an example of the most lively classicism.

Brahms waited to write a string quartet as he did in the case of the symphony: his first String Quartet, Opus 51 No.I, was not completed until 1873 -that is, when the composer was forty. He had, however, been thinking about it for a long time; already in 1852, when he made his first, famous visit to the Schumanns, he had shown them a sketch of a string quartet, and on several occasions during the next twenty years his correspondence alluded to projects of this type. But it was not until 1866 that he really started work on the two Opus 51 Quartets. The composer finished them during a vacation in Tutzing on the shore of Lake Starnberg during the summer of 1873, when he stayed at the Seerose Hotel, where he had a dilapidated piano at his disposal. He then went to Lichtental (near Baden-Baden) in the Black Forest to see Clara Schumann, to whom he played them on the piano as finished works.

The Siring Quartet in C minor, Opus 51 No. I is considered one of Brahms's most austere, most ascetic works, particularly because of the opening Allegro, which is indeed treated in a severe style. This first string quartet is especially noteworthy because an embryonic cyclical procedure makes an assertive appearance here. An evident relationship exists between the themes, particularly those of the first and last movements. The above-mentioned austerity partially resides in the tact that the cyclical technique is treated with Beethoven-like seriousness, but the work is also noteworthy for its Schubert-like tenderness in its modulating fantasy.

The initial Allegro is at the same time both robust and sentimental. It is in sonata form with three themes. The first is heroic and Richard Straussian before his time and is presented by the first violin. The second is beautifully lyrical and extends across twenty measures. The rather short third theme leads by a bridge to the development, constructed solely on the first two themes. The recapitulation is rigorously symmetrical with the first part and ends on a transition crescendo ed agitato leading to the coda, which dies out in C major.

The second movement, Romania: Poco adagio, is discreetly expressive and tender-hearted, somewhat in the style of the Cavatina of Beethoven's Opus 130 Quartet. Although the first movement was marked, here and there, by a rather Viennese mood, especially in its modulatory ease, this one is typically north German in its intense but restrained emotion.

The Allegro molto moderato e comodo is a sort of intermezzo in scherzo form; its mood is dark, somewhat sorrowful, with that wonderful north German melancholia. Nietzche pronounced the greatest nonsense of his life when he said that Brahms suffered from the melancholy of the impotent. At the center of the movement is a trio, Un poco piu animato. constructed on a subject softly presented by the first violin.

The final Allegro is rather oddly built, putting to use more systematically than heretofore a system of formal superposition that Brahms often resorted to: it is characteristic both of sonata form (without a central development) and of a rondo. What is involved is thus an exposition and a recapitulation on the one hand and on the other the alternate use of themes recalling the subject and episodes of a rondo. There are no less than six themes, all deliberately serious.

-Claude Rostand (translation by Robert Cushman)


  Соисполнители :

Alexander Schneider (Violin)
Boris Kroyt (Viola)
Joseph Roisman (Violin)
Mischa Schneider (Cello)


№ п/п

Наименование трека

Текст

Длительность

Комментарий
   1 I. Allegro         0:08:08 String Quartet In C Minor. Recorded 1963
   2 II. Romanze. Poco Adagio.         0:07:38 -"-
   3 III. Allegro Molto Moderato e Comodo. Un Poco Piu Animato         0:09:25 -"-
   4 IV. Allegro         0:05:52 -"-
   5 I. Allegro Non Troppo         0:15:52 Piano Quintet In F Minor. Recorded 1963
   6 II. Andante Un Poco Adagio         0:09:09 -"-
   7 III. Scherzo. Allegro         0:07:46 -"-
   8 IV. Finale. Poco Sostenuto.         0:10:27 -"-

      Обозначения:

 T   'щелкнуть' - переход к тексту композиции.

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