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Thread: Weekly quartet. Just a music lover perspective.

  1. #3136
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
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    Would like to say thanks to all who made such interesting posts on this quartet, I've really enjoyed following the discussion and I've learnt a fair bit!

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  3. #3137
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Due to other commitments this week I didn't investigate further than the LaSalle version I have in the collection. I enjoyed getting to know this fine quartet better than I had previously - nothing more to add that hasn't been said already.

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    In the end I was able to hear four accounts of the work - LaSalle, Schoenberg, Prazak and Brodsky - but couldn't choose between them. I liked them all and found they each had something somewhat different to say. The thing is that hearing several accounts has led to me feeling a little differently about the work than listening to the LaSalle alone would have allowed. I have commented that the LaSalle played each movement beautifully but that the work from them emerged very much as a suite rather than a totally coherent whole. I didn't get the same impression from the others. My ears found the Brodsky recording a little easier to digest and perhaps more immediately communicative. I liked the Prazak recording and found the Schoenberg recording the most mature ... but maybe the least distinctive.

    I think I may not do much for next week's quartet partly because I have the Zemlinsky bug now and want to get to know the other quartets.
    Last edited by Enthusiast; Jun-05-2021 at 15:25.

  5. #3139
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed reading everyone's Zemlinsky comments! I love how deeply people dig in to their listening in this thread. As a professional musician, you hope listeners will do this at least sometimes, but I fear frankly that it is all too rare.

    Zemlinsky for me is a major composer. His neglect during his lifetime shows you how unfair and fickle the music industry is, even for classical. So much "received knowledge" distorts and conceals, or outright misrepresents, what's really out there.

  6. #3140
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    Before we move on from Zemlinsky, would you guys say that the 2nd quartet is the next work one unfamiliar with Z should hear? I have also been enjoying the LaSalle Quartet this week; should I go with their recordings for the rest of the quartets? I also like their Berg and Shoenberg.
    "It should have worked." - Arthur Carlson

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Since Kreisler OK’d it, we can go with Art Rock’s Bruch nomination this week. Honestly, he’s a composer who I pretty much haven’t given a second thought to - the famous violin concerto doesn’t float my boat and, well, I can’t say I’ve spent any significant time exploring the rest of his ouevre. Seems to me like he’s as close as it gets to a “one hit wonder” to casual CM fans, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else he has to offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by SearsPoncho
    Before we move on from Zemlinsky, would you guys say that the 2nd quartet is the next work one unfamiliar with Z should hear?
    Yes! I listened to it a couple days ago and was blown away. It’s a massive, ambitious masterpiece that enfolds a classic four-movement structure, but it is all based on a single motto theme that is run through infinite possibilities. Most of it is very chromatic (more so than the 4th to my ears) but the last few minutes are incredibly beautiful as he gives us a peaceful, tonal coda after 40 minutes of restless shifting sands. The work reminds me of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (oh, how I wish that one was a quartet instead of a sextet so it could be nominated for this thread!) Highly recommended! It seems to me as if these quartets would hugely benefit from live performance, as they sound physically and technically demanding to the performers and such music always seems to foster especially memorable communicative experiences.
    Last edited by Allegro Con Brio; Jun-06-2021 at 03:36.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

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    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    Bruch - String quartet 2

    It's been a while since I played it, but I remember liking it (the first as well), and in fact preferring it over the three Brahms quartets. I have it on CD by the Mannheimer Streichquartett on CPO, but there are several versions available, also on Youtube.

    Mannheimer
    Diogenes
    Academica

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    The Goldner and Isos quartet also recorded it (that's all the versions I could find).
    As I knew this was coming I had a listen last night to the Mannheimer quartet. I have heard this quartet once before but it didn't register back then. It seems like a nice piece on my listen from last night . I'll give it some more stick today to see if starts sticking.

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  13. #3144
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    I think the 2nd quartet used to be Zemlinsky's most famous. It is a large scale work, one of the few (like Schoenberg's op.7) that try to take up or even expand on the continous form of Beethoven's op.131.

    I have not heard the Bruch quartet. He has a great late octet for strings

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Listening to the Academica performance of the Bruch 2 they're not as strong as the Mannheimers. Still fine but the Mannheimers play in better sound and a more refined manner for me. The Academicas are decent enough but the Mannheimers are classier across all movements. This quartet is starting to grow on me a bit more.

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  17. #3146
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
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    Bruch has never really floated my boat, I find his music a bit meh. However, listening to this quartet this afternoon three times back to back while preparing dinners etc has really changed my mind. I immediately concur with Art Rock's view vis-a-vis the Brahms quartets. I think I'm going to enjoy this week's choice - thanks Art Rock
    Last edited by HenryPenfold; Jun-06-2021 at 20:27. Reason: posessive apostrophe went missing

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  19. #3147
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Like Henry, Bruch has never been a fave composer of mine but this quartet has really improved my opinion of him. Its well-crafted and the vivace and finale are highly enjoyable. Listening to all the available recordings I can't decide whether I prefer the rhythmical swing of the Mannheimers or the slightly edgier but a little mannered Diogenes. Both are fine accounts and much preferable to the Academica recording which sounds very dry, isnt always that well played and lacks some punch. I've not made my mind up yet. I'll have another listen over the next few days.

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  21. #3148
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    This quartet definitely surprised me. I found Bruch’s style to be much more unique and distinctive than I was expecting. There are lots of lovely little touches that elevate it into the realm of an excellent work. I love the short, declamatory first movement introduction; it’s an effective attention-grabber and has some surprising harmonic ingenuity, and its altered appearance at the end is nice, although I was somewhat less taken with what transpired in between. The slow movement, however, is a real beauty. It sounds quite Dvorakian to me with a folksy, hymn-like flavor and gorgeous rustic simplicity. The scherzo is fun if a bit grating, and the finale sustains a nice impetus through symphonic textures and almost Schubertian use of melody. Is it higher than “very pleasant” in my estimation? Maybe not, but I certainly did not expect as much. Sometimes the “lesser known Romantics” are not up my alley (I know Raff, Gade, and Berwald have their fans, but I find their music rather unmemorable) and I feared this quartet would be along those lines, but I enjoyed it very much for the most part. Even not having heard any others, I agree with Merl’s assessment that the Diogenes recording was sort of edgy and mannered, with dry tone/recording acoustic.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

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  23. #3149
    Senior Member allaroundmusicenthusiast's Avatar
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    I don't know why I didn't jump in on this thread earlier. The discussion seems wonderful and I know/like most of the works that were previously nominated. I don't know if I'll be able to contribute in such an insightful way as most of the participants here do, but I'd definitely like to join in. I'll try to keep up with the weekly nomination, and if there's a slot open I'd also like to nominate works
    Last edited by allaroundmusicenthusiast; Jun-09-2021 at 16:37.

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  25. #3150
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Will try to get to the Bruch quartet before the end of the week. Like many others I've heard only the violin concerto. It's been a while but I remember it being a bit more lyrical and enjoyable than other romantic concertos of which I'm not a big fan. But my memory is a kinda foggy.
    "In the beginning there was noise. And the noise begat rhythm. And the rhythm begat everything else." - Mickey Hart

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