Bruch: Complete String Quartets (Full Album)
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The two opus-numbered quartets of Max Bruch were first recorded only in 1993 by an Italian ensemble, and the recognised expertise of the Diogenes Quartet in music of this style and era makes their new recording the obvious first choice, but their album is further enhanced by the inclusion of a C minor quartet which was rediscovered as recently as 2013, in a box in the archives of the Mozart-Stiftung in Frankfurt. Further research revealed that this was an unpublished work by Bruch, composed in 1852 at the age of 14, in application for a scholarship from the foundation. Louis Spohr, in approving the application, was fulsome in his praise: ‘I am very interested to learn more about him, as I prophesy a brilliant career for him.’
This youthful effort is clearly influenced by the estimable models of Beethoven and Schubert, but its composer’s melodic gift is already revealed by the slow movement, an enchanting Notturno of great expressive strength. This is a subtle, finely balanced movement, woven with precocious sophistication by the teenage Bruch into an intricate fabric of voices, which cushions the sensitive melody, as it were, on a bed of roses. Four years later – and still only 18 – he referred back to elements of the quartet in his first acknowledged work in the genre, designated Op.9
This CD contains a World Premiere! The C minor Quartet by Max Bruch.
In 2013 an unknown quartet was discovered in the archives of the Mozart-Stiftung in Frankfurt, further research made it clear it was by the 14-year old Max Bruch! This fresh and spontaneous youth work clearly has its roots in the romantic tradition going back to Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schumann.
The well known String Quartets Op.9 and Op.10 are vintage Bruch: although not revolutionary in any sense, they abound in catchy romantic melodies, the warm sonorities and harmonies adding to the feel-good atmosphere.
Excellent performances by the German Diogenes Quartet, who already recorded successfully for Brilliant Classics works by Gernsheim and a complete Schubert cycle.
Scholarly liner notes in both English and German are included in the booklet.
00:00:00 String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: I. Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro molto
00:08:19 String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: II. Adagio
00:17:26 Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: III. Scherzo. Allegro molto
00:21:08 String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: IV. Finale. Presto agitato
00:26:49 String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: I. Andante – Allegro ma non troppo
00:36:12 String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: II. Adagio
00:42:52 String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: III. Allegro molto energico
00:47:00 String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: IV. Molto vivace
00:52:14 String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: I. Allegro maestoso
01:01:41 String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: II. Andante quasi adagio
01:07:57 String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: III. Vivace non troppo – Un poco meno vivo
01:13:25 String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: IV. Finale. Vivace
Stefan Kirpal (violin)
Gundula Kirpal (violin)
Alba González i Becerra (viola)
Stephen Ristau (violincello)