Composer: Anton Webern (b. 1883 - d. 1945)
Performance date: 03/07/2015
Venue: Bantry Library
Composition Year: 1905
Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category:String Quartet
Cremona Quartet (Cristiano Gualco, Paolo Andreoli [violins], Simone Gramalgia [viola], Giovanni Scaglione [cello]) -
This work was written when Webern was
studying under Schoenberg, who was 9 years older than him. Schoenberg had
written his first string quartet in 1897 followed by Verklärte Nacht two years later. Webern studied with him from 1904-1908
during the period when Schoenberg wrote his first two published quartets
including the intoxicating ‘air of
another planet’. Webern was naturally a few steps behind the master and his
quartet writing of 1905-6 took the late romantic style of Verklärte Nacht as his starting point. So with the gorgeous Langsamer Satz we are still a long way
from the brevity and compression that he was to develop only a few years later.
Here we still have rich, flowing late Romantic melodies looking back to Mahler,
Richard Strauss and Brahms as well as his mentor. Commentators looking forward
to the extraordinary achievements of his maturity tend to be dismissive of this
early fragment but audiences never fail to be moved by the beauty of the
melodic ideas and the pathos of the dying fall in the coda.
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