• 2L093SABD Katalognummer
  • 7041888517825 EAN
  • SABD Format
  • 2013 Utgivelsesår

Verk

Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
String Quartet No. 14 in D minor D. 810
Death and the Maiden
1 Allegro 10:58
2 Andante con moto 12:53
3 Scherzo. Allegro molto 3:48
4 Presto 9:05
Edvard Grieg (1843–1907)
String Quartet in G Minor Op. 27
5 Un poco Andante – Allegro molto ed agitato 11:45
6 Romanze. Andantino 6:23
7 Intermezzo. Allegro molto marcato – Più vivo e scherzando 6:06
8 Finale. Lento – Presto al Saltarello 8:56
The connection between Edvard Grieg’s String Quartet in G minor and Claude
Debussy’s String Quartet in the same key is very well documented. On the surface,
this connection might seem a little unlikely since Debussy once – a little cruelly
perhaps – dismissed Grieg’s music as having the strange and delightful taste of pink
candy filled with snow. But a closer look at Debussy’s own music reveals that he in fact
owed more to his older colleague than he cared to admit. Both their G minor quartets
not only share the same tonic key, but also the general outline of the main themes,
which are thematically prominent throughout the two quartets. Thus both works
are in effect cyclical, a device not so common in chamber music before Grieg’s time.
There are also, of course, many differences between these two works, but it remains
fascinating to note the similarities between them.
However, comparatively little (or rather, to the best of my knowledge, nothing at
all) has been written on the subject of the models Grieg himself might have had for
his string quartet, in terms of style, instrumentation and musical idiom. As is well
known, Grieg did not consider himself a master of the big forms, and, despite such
an incredibly successful work as the early Piano Concerto in A minor, history on the
whole has proved him right. He even went so far as to suppress his only symphony,
literally forbidding posterity to perform or hear the work. However, he never actually
destroyed the manuscript and this indicates, perhaps, that he still harbored ambitions
to be a symphonist.
At all events, it seems reasonable to see the G minor String Quartet as an attempt by
Grieg to “redeem” himself as a composer of music on a larger scale. He said that he
wanted this new work to sound as big as possible for the four string instruments, and
the frequent use of double stops, loud dynamics and heavy accents certainly lends to
it an orchestral air. In fact more than one string orchestra has tackled the work, only
adding a double bass part to the already full-bodied texture.
During composition of this quartet, Grieg repeatedly met stumbling blocks in terms
of difficulty of form and lack of inspiration. Much can be attributed to the fact that
he was going through a particularly difficult phase in his personal life at the time, as
well as suffering from one of his recurring losses of confidence. This certainly makes
an imprint on the music: its sombre and troubled atmosphere makes it a somewhat
problematic, even recalcitrant piece, in spite of its many passages of repose and light.
— 5 —
Geir Inge Lotsberg and Liv Hilde Klokk (violins)
Are Sandbakken (viola) and Øystein Sonstad (cello)

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