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Cat. No. CHAN 10692 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10692 - Schumann: Three String Quartets, Op. 41
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Available From: 15 September 2011
Schumann: Three String Quartets, Op. 41

On this album we present three masterpieces of the nineteenth-century chamber music repertoire: Schumann’s set of string quartets, Op. 41. The works are performed by the Doric String Quartet, exclusive Chandos artists and among the most impressive young quartets on the classical music scene today. They regularly perform at major festivals and venues throughout the UK as well as across continental Europe, Asia, and the US.

The three string quartets, Op. 41 make up Schumann’s only published contribution to the genre. They were completed during a period of intense creative activity in 1842. In February, Schumann noted in his diary that he was having ‘continual quartet thoughts’. In April and May, he devoted himself to studying the quartets by Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart; in early June, the first two quartets were completed, and the third followed soon after in July that same year.

Brimming with the canons with which Schumann was so taken, as well as his characteristic turn of melody, these works all display in full the spirit that one would expect from this most romantic of romantic composers.

Schumann arranged for the first, private, performance of the quartets to take place on 13 September 1842, as a present for his wife, Clara, on her twenty-third birthday. Clara, always supportive of her husband’s efforts, praised them as ‘lucid, finely worked, and always in quartet idiom’. The esteemed theorist and composer Moritz Hauptmann said: ‘His [Schumann’s] first, which delighted me immensely, made me marvel at his talent… it is cleverly conceived and held together, and a great deal of it is very beautiful.’ 

Reviews

“...Their [The Doric Quartet] unity of sound and interpretation, excellent choice of tempos, acknowledgement of Mendelssohnian and Beethovenian influences without having to overstate anything), agility, and intelligence makes this recording everything I would want from a set of Schumann Quartets... This is now my Schumann Quartet recording of choice.”
Fine – American Record Guide – March/April 2012

             *****
Massimo Viazzo – Musica – February 2011
 

              Recording of the Month
“They play us Schumann’s unique combination of whimsy and fervour ... These are performances that make you fall in love with music all over again.”
Harriet Smith – Gramophone – December 2011

“Many fine versions of Schumann’s string quartets exist, but few get to the essence of the music with the natural flair shown by the Doric String Quartet. With ideal recording conditions, this is a disc to savour.”
Ben Hogwood –  The Classical Source - 25 October 2011

“... The ensemble of the quartet is beyond reproach, the sensitivity of the playing makes every phrase seductive ... this is close to ideal Schumann interpretation, and it augers well
for the future.”
Gavin Dixon – MusicWeb-International.com – November 2011

        “Recording of the Month
   Performance *****      Recording *****
 
Stephen Johnson – BBC Music Magazine – December 2011
 

“...The Dorics play with warmth, finesse and exciting attack.”
Fiona Maddocks – The Observer -  2 October 2011
 

 

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