Brahms: String Sextet, String Quartet / Leipzig Quartet

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Following its successful Schubert and Schönberg series, the Leipzig Quartet scores again. This time, the German ensemble has chosen Brahms, and its affectionate performances rise directly to the top of the available recordings for these works. The Quartet in B-flat major flows with a natural pace and an obvious affinity for Brahms's bittersweet moods. In particular, the Leipzig Quartet infuses a heart-stopping melancholy to the autumnal Agitato. The opening movement is taken a hint slower than the prescribed Vivace, but nonetheless manages to convey a feeling of spontaneity and vivacity thanks to the quartet's commitment to note. Add in a velvety, gorgeous tone, and impeccable ensemble playing, and you'll get a memorable performance, one you'll often want to come back to. A youthful work, the Sextet op. 18 reaches the same heights of inspiration as the later string quartet. Here again, the Leipzig Quartet plays with a perfect balance between control and expression (a few spots of less than perfect intonation notwithstanding). The lines are clear and well shaped, the textures transparent, the choice of tempos always suited to the character of the music. Even more important: the Leipzig musicians and their friends, the violist Hartmut Rohde and the cellist Michael Sanderling (son of the conductor Kurt), sound as if they love the music madly and want to share their passion for it. An index option in the first movement of the sextet allows the listener to skip the marvelous introductory melody by the cello and hear the piece as originally conceived by Brahms (the definitive version works better!). Informative liner notes and top quality recording are on the same wavelength as the performances. Without any doubt, a beautiful achievement.

--Luca Sabbatini, ClassicsToday.com


Product Description:


  • Catalog Number: 3070969-2


  • UPC: 760623096926


  • Label: MD&G


  • Composer: Johannes Brahms


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Leipzig String Quartet


  • Performer: Andreas Seidel, Hartmut Rohde, Ivo Bauer, Matthias Moosdorf, Michael Sanderling, Tilman Büning



Works:


  1. Quartet for Strings no 3 in B flat major, Op. 67

    Composer: Johannes Brahms

    Ensemble: Leipzig String Quartet

    Performer: Ivo Bauer (Viola), Tilman Büning (Violin), Matthias Moosdorf (Cello), Andreas Seidel (Violin)


  2. Sextet for Strings no 1 in B flat major, Op. 18

    Composer: Johannes Brahms

    Ensemble: Leipzig String Quartet

    Performer: Ivo Bauer (Viola), Tilman Büning (Violin), Matthias Moosdorf (Cello), Hartmut Rohde (Viola), Michael Sanderling (Cello), Andreas Seidel (Violin)


  3. Sextet for Strings no 1 in B flat major, Op. 18

    Composer: Johannes Brahms

    Ensemble: Leipzig String Quartet

    Performer: Ivo Bauer (Viola), Tilman Büning (Violin), Matthias Moosdorf (Cello), Hartmut Rohde (Viola), Michael Sanderling (Cello), Andreas Seidel (Violin)