Saturday, April 29, 2017

Weingartner, Felix. (1863-1942) String Quartets. Volume III.

From my collection.
Bought in February 2014.
Label: CPO.
First listen: 24-2-2014.
Second listen: 29-4-2017.
Recording dates: October 2008.
Recording venue: Kirche Marthalen, Germany.
Recording engineer: Not named.
Running time: 58:02.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.

Works.

String Quartet No. 2, opus 26 in F minor.
String Quartet No. 4 opus 62, in D major.

Performers.

Sarastro Quartett.
Ralph Orendain and Roman Conrad, Violins.
Hanna Werner Helfenstein, Viola.
Stefan Bracher, Cello.

Felix Weingartner is a late romantic composer,  firmly rooted in the Classical Romantic tradition. It has some modernisms but never in an extreme way. Logically structured, and extremely clear and lucid in their projection of musical content. All his works are on a academic and intellectual level, and rich in expression. His music is very concentrated in content and demands rigorous attention to the score. Rhythmically it needs a precise approach and a good quartet balance, for Weingartner always writes in such a way that if played by a less experienced ensemble his SQ will sound like utter chaos.  I have been an admirer of his music, since I collected his wonderful Symphonies, they made quite an impression on me, and still do. So naturally from there I went to the SQ, which give me the same satisfaction as the orchestral works, being thoroughly romantic in nature. He is not adding new enhancements to the genre, but his tonality has certainly new elements, and those are the cherries on the cake. The imprint of the music is melancholy, bitter at times, but ultimately beautiful composed pieces with deep messages of spirituality and emotional growth.. And I wonder, why these SQ are not repertoire pieces. True enough, Weingartner was not a man who was liked much, and reading about his life, that's quite understandable, but it should not distract from the music, which is unmistakable excellent.  The performances are reference, and the recordings are very good too. 




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