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BERG: String Quartet / Lyric Suite / WOLF: Italian Serenade

Composer(s):Berg, AlbanWolf, Hugo
Artist(s) New Zealand String Quartet, Ensemble
Period(s) 20th CenturyRomantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.557374
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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Alban Berg’s two works for string quartet alone are enough to place him with the foremost exponents of the quartet medium during the first half of the twentieth century. The String Quartet, Op. 3, completed in 1910, is both a graduation exercise and also the composer’s first extended foray into the non-tonal regions that were then being explored by Schoenberg and Webern. Berg’s highly expressive Lyric Suite, inspired by his love-affair with the wife of a family friend, is notable for its unconventional six-movement form, the odd-numbered of which become progressively faster and more disruptive, while the evennumbered ones become progressively slower and more intense. Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade is a lighthearted piece later orchestrated as the first



Review By David Denton,Naxos,July 2007

As a graduation piece Alban Berg's String Quartet was his first foray into those uncharted territories of atonality, and spoke of the influence Arnold Schoenberg held over his pupil. In two movements that are more extended than his highly distilled music that was to follow, and at times slipping back into the tonality that surrounded him, it is, almost a hundred years later, still as to most ears as unapproachable as it was at the time of composition. It was not until fifteen years later that he returned to the genre with the six short movements that form the Lyric Suite. Though it was later discovered to have a story behind it, the feel is one of abstract thought that, as with the quartet, slips back into he comfort zone of tonality. Turn the clock back to the early recordings of



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