Описание CD

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  Исполнитель(и) :
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  Наименование CD :
   Der Tod Und Das Maedchen

Год издания : 1985/1991

Компания звукозаписи : EMI Classic

Время звучания : 1:12:27

Код CD : CDC 7 47333 2

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Symphony)      

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

Schubert: String Quartets in A minor and D minor

At the beginning of 1824 Schubert threw himself eagerly into the composition of string quartets and the Octet, as we learn from the letter to his friend Kupelwieser dated 31 March. It was in the medium of chamber music, and particularly that of the string quartet, that Schubert seems to have overcome suddenly the creative crisis of the years 1817 to 1823 which manifested itself in many unfinished piano sonatas and symphonies, and above all in the only string quartet begun during these years - the Quartettsatz in C minor (with an uncompleted andante) of December 1820. This was the work in which he revealed his uncertainty about the path he should follow; we may even detect a paralysis since the previous completed four-movement work of 1816 (the Quartet in E major, D.353), caused by his involvement in Beethoven's music which troubled him more and more and which he could no longer ignore in his own creative work. But now he seems to have broken free, the way seemed open to new territory: the quartets and the Octet of 1824 were to help him forge the path to the Great C major symphony. The two string quartets, in A minor and D minor, were completed by the end of March 1824, as Schubert indicated in his letter to Kupelwieser. They convey the spirit of his new creative departure in their novel formal organization: both slow movements exert a decisive influence on the other movements, in their emotional weight and in their thematic patterns which determine the shape and treatments of motifs throughout the Quartet. The two movements thus become focal points, whereas in Schubert's early works they had merely followed classical formal models. This new conception of the slow movement becomes more and more marked, giving rise to the superb movements in the final String Quartet (the G major of 1826), the String Quintet and the piano sonatas of Schubert's last year.

In the slow movements of each of the two quartets Schubert turns to earlier compositions; the two movements gain further significance from their origins as music for the stage in one case, and as a song in the other. In the Andante of the A minor Quartet the first 16 bars reproduce almost exactly the refrain of the Entr'acte after Act Three of Helmina Chezy's play Rosamunde. There are two points to note here. The incidental music was not designed merely to fill the intervals in order to enhance the play's reception at its premiere in the Theater an der Wien on 20 December. It was conceived both as a reflection on what had gone before and as a transition at a decisive point in the play: the heroine Rosamunde, princess and regent designate of Cyprus, will return in Act Four to the scene of her secure, sheltered childhood, renounce her claims to the throne and find simple happiness amongst herds of cattle and countryfolk, free (initially, at least) from discord. The principal motif of the Entr'acte is linked unmistakably to the happy Shepherd's Chorus, whose carefree dance-like character is transformed into nostalgic reflection. The second point to note is that the dramatic function of this theme within the play is in no way denied when it is used in the String Quartet. On the contrary, all the other themes in the Quartet movement contribute to the depiction of this conflict between reflection on the past and finding a home in the present. Thus, for example the walking motif, used in the Entr'acte and, as a musical symbol, in the Shepherd's Chorus, permeates all sections of the movement, even the animated figuration of the central part, and assumed a programmatic significance: what first found expression in the 'Rosamunde' music is developed, expanded and perhaps heightened.

The first movement acts as a preparation for this. Its formal structure bears no trace of the tentative experiments in the first movements of the early quartets. It fulfils more closely the demands of a sonata-form movement while its expression corresponds to the 'gentle femininity and softness of character, the good nature' which, according to Schilling's Universal-Lexikon der Tonkunst (1835), are associated with the key of A minor.

In the minuet the use of the quotation from another earlier composition, the song 'Schone Welt, wo bist du?' ('Beautiful World, where are you?'), D.677, serves only to strengthen the relationship with the subject matter of Rosamunde, extending it questioningly into a wider context. This is also true of the answer, 'Kehre wieder, holdes Blutenalter der Natur' which, in contrast to the song, is separated from the question, emerging only with the turn to the major key in the trio.

Despite the 'alia Zingarese' of its A major theme, the last movement maintains the slightly subdued tone of the first movement. The tension between this adherence to the work's fundamental spirit and the latent desire to break out vigorously in the manner of a finale is strangely and thrillingly heightened in the pianissimo sections in C sharp minor and, later, F sharp minor. Here again is the indication of a restrained emotional conflict which idyllic serenity cannot completely banish.

The more rugged contours of the second quartet of March 1824, in D minor, D.810, proclaim a different, less monolithic structural pattern, and a character quite distinct from that of the A minor Quartet. Already in the exposition of the first movement contrasting ideas dominate lengthy stretches, with abrupt shifts to passages of reflective dialogue and then back to stormy, driving sequences. The development, on the other hand, dissolves these successive sections into a single entity, setting the spun-out melodic lines above the thematic ostinato from the contrasting section without resolving the elemental conflict.

Only with the second movement do we see that the music is concerned with a process of endurance: as the theme for variations Schubert chooses passages from the piano part of his song 'Death and the Maiden'. In this dialogue by Matthias Claudius, set by Schubert in 1817, Death overcomes the girl's resistance, appearing as mediator and saviour. The piano introduction and bars 30-37, a setting of the words 'Sei gutes Muts, ich bin nicht wild, sollst sanft in meinen Armen schlafen' ('Be of good cheer, I am not harsh, you shall sleep gently in my arms'), are combined and slightly expanded maintaining the even rhythmic tread and the oracular tone of the second part of the dialogue.

All the variations follow the theme's melodic structure and all adhere to its basic harmonic plan except the fourth, which, in the tradition of figured variations, moves into the major key. But the girl's part of the dialogue, expressing her resistance to death, emerges in the figuration of the first two variations. After this the variation in the major key seems to depict a complete shift in the struggle, in which Death embraces the girl like a lover. Then, in the fifth variation, his strange gentleness grows more and more persuasive, the mediator draws her into the next world and all figuration is silenced in the peace of her deliverance.

The Scherzo clearly reveals how the second movement contains the thematic elements that unify the whole quartet. There is a familiar contrast between the brusque scherzo and the more relaxed trio, but the two moods are integrated in the D major trio: its happy dance-like measures contain in the accompaniment the principal figure of the Scherzo, which assumes a dominant role towards the end of each phrase without disturbing the character of the music. The fourth movement is akin to the first, less in its thematic material than its overall character. The fierce impetus of the continual six-eight movement is twice interrupted by a sustained passage whose firm melodic contours contrast with its unsettled harmonies; this passage recurs as a melodic nucleus when the original quaver movement is resumed. Later the roles are redistributed: fragments of the principal theme at one point provide a double ostinato, an example of musical integration akin to those in the earlier movements, and an indication - paralleled frequently in both quartets - of Schubert's new-found compositional range. This includes the capacity to draw on songs or stage music for thematic ideas and to realise those ideas in the context of instrumental music, transforming and expanding them without violating the sequence of movements or damaging the basic design.

- Werner Aderhold, 1985

  Соисполнители :

Gerhard Schulz (Violin)
Gunter Pichler (Violin)
Thomas Kakuska (Viola)
Valentin Erben (Violoncello)

№ п/п

Наименование трека



   1 Allegro         0:11:32 String Quartet No 14 In D Minor, D.810 ("Death And The Maiden")
   2 Andante Con Moto         0:14:26 -"-
   3 Scherzo (Allegro Molto) & Trio         0:03:38 -"-
   4 Presto         0:09:05 -"-
   5 Allegro Ma Non Troppo         0:12:25 String Quartet No 13 In A Minor, D.804 ("Rosamunde")
   6 Andante         0:06:42 -"-
   7 Menuetto (Allegretto) & Trio         0:07:33 -"-
   8 Allegro Moderato         0:07:06 -"-


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