Mendelssohn, Schumann: String Quartets / Guarneri Quartet

Regular price $21.99
Added to Cart! View cart or continue shopping.
By 1845, only two years before his death, Mendelssohn at 36 was an eminent 'establishment' figure—but one whose creative imagination no longer had its first freshness. I entirely agree with the American sleeve-note writer that the Quintet's crowning glory is its slow movement, "an elegaic Adagio in D minor, remarkable especially for the way Mendelssohn uses his small ensemble to suggest deep contrasts of light and shadow". And though the elves and sprites of the Scherzo, marked Andante scherzando, sound a little middle-aged in comparison with their nimbler cousins in the Octet and other earlier marvels, they are certainly not without charm. In the active flanking movements Mendelssohn's motivation seems impersonal, like a return to eighteenth-century delight in superlative craftsmanship per se. Here the Guarneris and Zukerman greatly help the composer with their urgent drive. Some of the tremolo down below emerges just a bit hard in the first movement, but their assualt on the finale's con fuoco counterpoint makes for an exciting finish. They find the grace for the Scherzo, and the expressive intensity for the Adagio.

-- Gramophone [2/1980, reviewing the original LP release of the Mendelssohn Quintet]

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: RCA 94198

  • UPC: 888880941985

  • Label: RCA

  • Composer: Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Guarneri String Quartet

  • Performer: Arnold Steinhardt, David Soyer, John Dalley, Michael Tree, Pinchas Zukerman