Zemlinsky: String Quartets, Volume 2

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Zemlinsky: String Quartets, Volume 2



Catalogue No:




Release date:

2nd June 2014




74 minutes


CD (download also available)
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Zemlinsky: String Quartets, Volume 2


String Quartet No. 1 in A major, Op. 4

String Quartet No. 2, Op. 15

Escher String Quartet



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By 1896, at the age of twenty-five, Alexander Zemlinsky was one of the rising stars in the Viennese musical firmament. His first opera had been written, he had won a number of awards, and he had earned the support of Johannes Brahms. In july of the same year he began writing his first string quartet, a work of sweeping lyricism, rich dance patterns, and self-confidence, couched within the bounds of a relatively conventional palette. Seventeen years later he began his second quartet; kaleidoscopic in effect, mood, and technical demands, and redolent of the music of the new century – led by his brother-in-in-law Arnold Schoenberg – it was to place Zemlinsky securely in the European avant-garde.

Alexander Zemlinsky: String Quartet No. 1 in A Major, Op. 4

I. Allegro con fuoco

II. Allegretto - quarter note: etwas schneller als fruher (quarter note - 6/8 prestissimo) - Tempo di allegretto

III. Breit und kraftig

IV. Vivace e con fuoco

Alexander Zemlinsky: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 15

I. Sehr masssig (quasi andante) - Heftig und leidenschaftlich - Andante mosso - Etwas rascher

II. Adagio

III. Schnell (die Achtel)

IV. Andante

V. Langsam

The Guardian

12th June 2014


“a superb performance of the Second Quartet, one of Zemlinsky's greatest and most radical achievements...The Eschers sustain the huge span of music magnificently, while making sure that every tiny detail of Zemlinksy's meticulous string writing is heard.”

BBC Music Magazine

September 2014


“the Eschers take the music by the scruff of its neck, playing with tremendous virtuosity and subtlety of nuance. Recorded in first-class sound, they hold the listener spellbound from first bar to last. Overall, this recording is a tremendous achievement by any standards.”

Gramophone Magazine

September 2014

“Both are likeable pieces with one foot in the future, the Escher Quartet on this new recording alert and responsive...a performance that probes the depths and surges forwards with a sense of inevitability that, given what the century had in store, is 'authentic' in the truest possible sense.”

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