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Mendelssohn – The Complete String Quartets (2005)

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Mendelssohn – The Complete String Quartets (2005)

CD 1:
1. String Quartet in E-Flat Major, MWV R18: I. Allegro moderato	9:15	
2. String Quartet in E-Flat Major, MWV R18: II. Adagio non troppo	6:26
3. String Quartet in E-Flat Major, MWV R18: III. Minuetto	5:47
4. String Quartet in E-Flat Major, MWV R18: IV. Fuga	3:53	
5. String Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 12, MWV R25: I. Adagio non troppo: Allegro non tardante	7:30	
6. String Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 12, MWV R25: II. Canzonetta: Allegretto	4:03
7. String Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 12, MWV R25: III. Andante espressivo	4:07	
8. String Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 12, MWV R25: IV. Molto Allegro e vivace	8:06	
9. String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80, MWV R30: I. Allegro vivace assai	7:15	
10. String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80, MWV R30: II. Allegro assai	4:53	
11. String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80, MWV R30: III. Adagio	8:08
12. String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80, MWV R30: IV. Finale: Allegro molto	5:22

CD 2:
1. String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13, MWV R22: I. Adagio: Allegro vivace	8:15	
2. String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13, MWV R22: II. Adagio non lento	7:32
3. String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13, MWV R22: III. Intermezzo: Allegro con moto	4:45	
4. String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13, MWV R22: IV. Presto	10:09
5. String Quartet No. 3, Op. 44, No. 1, MWV R30: I. Molto Allegro vivace	9:31
6. String Quartet No. 3, Op. 44, No. 1, MWV R30: II. Menuetto: Un poco Allegretto	6:07	
7. String Quartet No. 3, Op. 44, No. 1, MWV R30: III. Andante espressivo ma con moto	6:10	
8. String Quartet No. 3, Op. 44, No. 1, MWV R30: IV. Presto con brio	6:53

CD 3:
1. String Quartet No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 44. No. 2, MWV R30: I. Allegro assai appassionato	10:20
2. String Quartet No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 44. No. 2, MWV R30: II. Scherzo: Allegro di molto	3:54
3. String Quartet No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 44. No. 2, MWV R30: III. Andante	6:25
4. String Quartet No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 44. No. 2, MWV R30: IV. Presto agitato	6:52	
5. String Quartet No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 44, No. 3, MWV R28: I. Allegro vivace	9:08
6. String Quartet No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 44, No. 3, MWV R28: II. Scherzo: Assai leggiero vivace	3:46
7. String Quartet No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 44, No. 3, MWV R28: III. Adagio non troppo	8:40
8. String Quartet No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 44, No. 3, MWV R28: IV. Molto Allegro con fuoco	8:44
9. Andante in E Major, Op. 81, No. 1	6:11
10. Scherzo in A Minor, Op. 81, No. 2	3:31	
11. Capriccio in E Minor, Op. 81, No. 3	6:18	
12. Fugue in E-Flat Major, Op. 81, No. 4	5:23

Pacifica Quartet

 

This set of Mendelssohn's complete string quartets is like a clever, interlocking puzzle that forms an artful whole. There are many different elements at work here, each of which plays a part in the success of this set. First is the ensemble. The Pacifica Quartet is impressively matched not only in timing and phrasing, but also in tone and articulation to such a degree that the separate instruments form a single unit, which perfectly suits Mendelssohn's writing. Even though these quartets have solo melodic passages, contrapuntal movements, bowed lines against pizzicato, all the musical lines in Mendelssohn's music -- whether for piano, chamber ensemble, or orchestra -- work together toward the same emotional expression. The Pacifica finds an excellent balance between that Romantic sentiment and the Classical refinement in this music, between drama and form. This is possible because the Pacifica is firmly and confidently in control of everything it does, both as individuals and as a group. Even in the fast movements, such as the finale of the String Quartet No. 3, there is exhilarating speed, but never any danger of flying off the track. There is a tautness in the playing that also helps intensify the drama. In the Presto of the String Quartet No. 2, the first violin's recitatives and the accompaniment become almost dark in their closely held ardency. Finally, the sound of the recording is so close and rich it feels like a private, personal performance for just one listener. All of these pieces put together make for a truly rewarding set of quartets. --- Patsy Morita, Rovi

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Last Updated (Thursday, 20 February 2014 22:19)

 

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