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There are a number of points of similarity between Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7 and Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4, both technical and structural. They were also important works in the composer’s life, Verklärte Nacht being – in his own estimation – the first tone poem ever written for chamber ensemble.
Both works provoked scandals but both also pointed the way decisively toward future development, not least the quartet, which was a pivotal composition in Schoenberg’s career and one that enshrines an intriguing ‘private programme’. Verklärte Nacht when performed by a sextet is usually linked with Schoenberg’s String Trio, a logical enough coupling. But the focus of this disc is on the links between Verklärte Nacht and the String Quartet No. 1. Both are played by the experienced and highly regarded chamber player Fred Sherry and his quartet and sextet.
Arnold Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7
Nicht zu rasch
Kraftig (nicht zu rasch)
Massig, langsame Viertel
Arnold Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op. 4
Sehr breit und langsam
Arnold Schoenberg: Canon No. 19 for Strings
Canon No. 19 for Strings
Arnold Schoenberg: Canon No. 25 for Strings
Canon No. 25 for Strings
Arnold Schoenberg: Canon No. 27 for Strings
Canon No. 27 for Strings
Arnold Schoenberg: Canon No. 28 for Strings
Canon No. 28 for Strings
“The urgency is raw and immediate, occasionally hard-driven in an acoustic suggesting confined spaces and close interactions; the result is undeniably exciting...With their experience of the later quartets to call on, Fred Sherry and his team relish the forward-looking qualities even more than the lingering over what would soon be impossible.”
12th September 2013
“Sherry and his group catch that sense of boundless energy and exuberant experimentalism perfectly, while always keeping a firm grip on the piece's structure...These are top-quality performances at bargain price.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.