- Audio CD (Jan 11 2000)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Philips - Universal Special Imports
- ASIN: B00002DDWS
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,799 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op.7: 1. Nicht zu rasch|
|2. String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op.7: 2. Kräftig (Nicht zu rasch)|
|3. String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op.7: 3. Mäßig (Langsame Viertel)|
|4. String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op.7: 4. Mäßig (Heiter)|
|5. String Quartet No. 2, Op.10: 1. Mäßig|
|6. String Quartet No. 2, Op.10: 2. Sehr rasch|
|7. String Quartet No. 2, Op.10: 3. Litanei (Langsam)|
|8. String Quartet No. 2, Op.10: 4. Entrückung (Sehr Lagsam)|
|1. String Quartet No. 3, Op.30: Moderato|
|2. String Quartet No. 3, Op.30: Adagio|
|3. String Quartet No. 3, Op.30: Intermezzo|
|4. String Quartet No. 3, Op.30: Rondo|
|5. String Quartet No.4, Op.37: Allegro Molto|
|6. String Quartet No.4, Op.37: Comodo|
|7. String Quartet No.4, Op.37: Largo|
|8. String Quartet No.4, Op.37: Allegro|
In a way which invites comparison to Bartók's six, Schoenberg's four quartets span his career. The striking thing, perhaps, is how unified they are in "voice," despite the composer's epochal adventures in How to Organize Pitch. These pieces are seldom performed by string quartets in the states, and it is difficult to see why, since in many respects, they are no harder on the ears than the Bartók quartets, which enjoy a solid berth in chamber recitals.
The first movement of the third quartet plays itself out in a very scherzando vein; it may even strike some as strangely cheerful in activity, considering its acerbic chromaticism.
The third movement of the fourth quartet is, simply, beautiful. If anyone wonders if Schoenberg was capable of writing beautiful music, this Largo is quite possibly the strongest case pro.
There is a restlessness to the music, it is always surging ... somewhere. So I am not sure that it can be my favorite music in the world; but it is well made, perfectly suited to the medium of the string quartet, and there are often passages of beauty which startle with their strangeness.