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Mendelssohn - String Quartets Nos 5 & 6

Composer Felix Mendelssohn (-Bartholdy)
Performer Escher String Quartet
Catalogue Number BIS-2160 SACD
EAN 7318599921600
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Aug 2016
Total time 71'17

Final disc in the series

The Escher Quartet opened their traversal of Mendelssohn’s string quartets with the first and the fourth quartet, along with an unnumbered early work in E flat major, on a disc which the reviewer in The Strad summed up as a ‘A deeply rewarding release … and by any standards a distinguished one.’ The same magazine made the sequel – with the second and third quartets – its recommendation in the November issue of 2015, while the reviewer on MusicWeb-International found the performances on that disc to be ‘some of the most beautiful string quartet playing I have heard in many a day’. On the third and final disc in the series, time has come for the two final quartets, as well as the Capriccio and Fugue from the set of Four Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 81 begun on the previous instalment. String Quartet No. 5 in E flat major belongs to the three quartets composed in 1837-38 as Op. 44, and often considered his masterpieces in the genre. Ever modest, Mendelssohn himself recommended the set to his friend, the pianist Ignaz Moscheles, with the words: ‘there are one or two amongst them I am pleased with myself, and I should like to know that I am right, and that you too are satisfied with them.’ Published posthumously, Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80 holds a special place in Mendelssohn’s list of works: not only is it one of his very last compositions, but the breath-taking work is the direct and heartfelt response to the unexpected death of his beloved sister Fanny. ‘The impassioned character of the entire work seems to me to be in keeping with his [Mendelssohn’s] profoundly unsettled state of mind’, Moscheles noted in his diary after having heard the quartet at the composer’s home on 5th October 1847. A month later, after suffering a number of strokes, Mendelssohn died.
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  Felix Mendelssohn (-Bartholdy)
  Quartet No.5 in E flat major, Op.44 No.3, MWV R28 34'41
01 I. Allegro vivace 13'22
02 II. Scherzo 4'05
03 III. Adagio non troppo 8'34
04 IV. Molto allegro con fuoco 8'40
  Four Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 81 10'37
05 3. Capriccio in E minor, MWV R32 5'37
06 4. Fugue (A tempo ordinario) in E flat major, MWV R23 5'00
  Quartet No.6 in F minor, Op. 80, MWV R37 24'56
07 I. Allegro vivace assai - Presto 7'06
08 II. Allegro assai 4'14
09 III. Adagio 7'52
10 IV. Finale 5'44
  Album total 71'17
ComposerMendelssohn (-Bartholdy), Felix
EnsembleEscher String Quartet

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