Czech, Hungarian, Austrian and Italian
Here’s an exciting mixture of rarities and famous string quartets by Austrian, Czech, Hungarian and Italian composers.
Schoenberg composed his tumultuous second string quartet between 1907 and 1908 in Vienna. In a highly unusual move, a solo soprano joins the string quartet players in the last two movements.
Enjoy Janácek’s beloved two quartets, titled ‘Kreutzer Sonata’ and ‘Intimate Letters’, in which the Czech composer portrays the tragic outcome of a husband’s jealousy (based on a tale by Tolstoy) and expresses his own love for a much younger married woman.
Bartók’s six string quartets are milestones of 20th century string quartet composition and occupy a central place in the repertoire of most famous string quartets. In the first quartet (1909), his very personal use of folk-song elements, intense harmonies and expressive melodies emerges. Written during the months before the outbreak of World War II, Bartók’s sixth quartet reflects these dramatic and tense circumstances, but also shows the harmonic and tonal lucidity of his final decade.
Two rarities by Italian composer Ildebrando Pizzetti, pieces by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu and Czech-born Erwin Schulhoff complete this versatile package.