Mendelssohn: String Quartets, Vol. 1 / Doric Quart

Album cover art for upc 095115212226
Catalog: CHAN 20122(2)
Format: CD

Doric String Quartet

Alongside its ongoing and much lauded Haydn and Schubert series, both on-stage and on-record, the Doric String Quartet with this Mendelssohn album is adding a new milestone in its repertoire. Mendelssohn wrote and published these three quartets at very different stages in his life and they therefore outline the complete trajectory of his creative output. The early Op. 12, also called No. 1, was composed in London and includes many musical allusions to Beethoven, dead only a few years before its composition. These subtly contrast with Mendelssohn’s genially flowing energy. While Op. 44 No. 3, which incorporates many deft variations, developments, and combinations, follows an extended honeymoon tour and Mendelssohn’s twenty-ninth birthday, Op. 80 emerged from a bout of helpless depression after the sudden death of Mendelssohn’s older sister and confidante, Fanny. Mendelssohn described this quartet as a Requiem, and the nervous agitation often found in his music here bursts forth with full force. Resignation, agitation, and nostalgia shape the work, the almost shocking finality of which may be said to prefigure Mendelssohn’s own death only six months later.

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