Zemlinsky: String Quartets / Brodsky Quartet
Catalog: CHAN 10845(2)
Composed by: Zemlinsky, Alexander
In this recording of Alexander Zemlinsky’s (1871-1942) complete String Quartets, the Brodsky Quartet gives fresh life to the composer’s works, ‘with a spirit so transformational you felt they were actually improving the world’, as reported by The Strad after a recent concert performance.The four string quartets represent a journey through Zemlinsky’s musical thought.The Brahmsian, youthful Quartet in A, op. 4 is generously proportioned and less earnest in mood than some earlier works.The Second Quartet, op. 15 echoes the composer’s years of emotional crisis.Contrastingly, the Third Quartet, op. 19 appears to be a sarcastic protest against modernism, Zemlinsky exploiting a minimum of material to maximum effect.Having been blacklisted and his music declared ‘degenerate’, the Fourth Quartet, op. 25 (1936) only achieved its first public performance in 1967.It deploys a wealth of thematic ideas in a process of continual variation and metamorphosis that follows the outlines of sonata form.The String Quartet in E minor failed to pass its trial at the Viennese Tonkünstlerverein when first presented in 1893.Not published until 1997, it appears here on disc for the first time.