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Sunday, February 7, 2010

FELIX MENDELSSOHN

FELIX MENDELSSOHN
QUATUOR TALICH
COMPLETE STRING QUARTETS (2004)
320 KBPS

The Talich Quartet plays this music about as well as it can be played. Note for example how the group differentiates the two inner movements of the D major quartet (No. 1), avoiding the monotony that Mendelssohn risks in having two movements in similar tempos follow one another. The quartet also plots the evolution of the three slow movements, from Andante con moto to Andante to Adagio non troppo, with ideal sensitivity to their individual characters, while the outer movements of each quartet have both the necessary buoyancy and rhythmic edge. The Talich players accomplish all of this with uniformly lovely tone, total unanimity of ensemble, and perfect intonation, making the "appassionato" and "agitato" designations in the E minor quartet especially compelling.
Mendelssohn's quartets have been receiving a good bit of attention on disc, and for good reason. They are the finest works in their medium between Beethoven and Dvorák, and one of them, the F minor quartet Op. 80, just might be Mendelssohn's finest instrumental work in any form. More consistent in quality than his symphonies, elegant and shapely, these quartets deserve much wider exposure, and no set makes a better case for them than this one. The sound quality is extremely natural, warm, and present, with remarkably little extraneous performance noise--in short, an essential set for lovers of great chamber music and great quartet playing.

Disc 1
String Quartet in D Major Opus 44 N°1
1. Molto Allegro Vivace
2. Menuetto, Un Poco Allegretto
3. Andante Espressivo Ma Con Moto
4. Presto Con Brio
String Quartet in E Minot Opus 44 N°2
5. Allegro Assai Appassionato
6. Scherzo, Allegro Di Molto
7. Andante
8. Presto Agitato
String Quartet in E Flat Major Opus 44 N°3
9. Allegro Vivace
10. Scherzo, Assai Leggiero Vivace
11. Adagio Non Troppo
12. Molto Allegro Con Fuoco

Disc 2
String Quartet in B Flat Major Opus 12
1. Adagio, Allegro Non Tardante
2. Canzonetta, Allegretto
3. Andante Espressivo
4. Molto Allegro E Vivace
String Quartet in A Minor Opus 13
5. Adagio, Allegro Vivace
6. Adagio Non Lento
7. Intermezzo, Allegretto Con Moto
8. Presto

Disc 3
String Quartet in E Flat Major
1. Allegro Moderato
2. Adagio Non Troppo
3. Minuetto
4. Fuga
String Quartet in F Minor Opus 80
5. Allegro Vivace Assai
6. Allegro Assai
7. Adagio
8. Finale, Allegro Molto
Pieces for String Quartet Opus 81
9. Andante En Mi Majeur
10. Scherzo En La Mineur
11. Capriccio En Mi Mineur
12. Fugue En Mi Bémol Majeur