Haydn: String Quartets No. 3, Op. 33; Nos. 1 and 2, Op. 77; Hoffstetter Serenade.
Alban Berg Quartet The Alban Berg Quartett is an string quartet founded in Vienna, Austria in 1971.
The quartet members decided to disband in July, 2008. Their last concert will be held in Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, Argentina. . EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference) An electrical disturbance in a system due to natural phenomena, low-frequency waves from electromechanical devices or high-frequency waves (RFI) from chips and other electronic devices. Allowable limits are governed by the FCC. 7243 5 57541-2.
Chamber music is not as popular with the record-buying public as large orchestral pieces, so understandably music companies record less of it. But with music as felicitous fe·lic·i·tous
1. Admirably suited; apt: a felicitous comparison.
2. Exhibiting an agreeably appropriate manner or style: a felicitous writer.
3. as the quartets on this disc and playing as refined as the Alban Berg Quartet, this disc should do quite well for itself.
Haydn's output of chamber music was extensive, but his String Quartet string quartet
Ensemble consisting of two violins, viola, and cello, or a work written for such an ensemble. Since c. 1775 such works have been perhaps the predominant genre of chamber music. No. 3, Op. 33, nicknamed "The Bird," stands out among the pack. Like most of the composer's quartets, this one is really like a miniature symphony, a point the booklet note emphasizes, with the four instruments taking on the parts of a larger orchestra, and the four movements structured along symphonic lines. But it's mainly the character of the music that is enticing, the nickname clearly deriving from its birdlike chirping chirp
A short, high-pitched sound, such as that made by a small bird or an insect.
intr.v. chirped, chirp·ing, chirps
To make a short, high-pitched sound. . Interestingly, the later quartets from Op. 77 are not as easygoing eas·y·go·ing also eas·y-go·ing
a. Living without undue worry or concern; calm.
b. Lax or negligent; careless.
c. or beguiling as the one from Op. 33, seeming more severe, more strictly arranged, and nowhere near as bouncy or engaging.
The collection concludes with the little Serenade serenade [Ital. sera=evening], term used to designate several types of musical composition. Opera and song literature yield numerous examples of the serenade sung or played by a lover at night beneath his beloved's window; outstanding is from No. 5, Op. 3, that was long thought to have been written by Haydn (Haydn was himself unclear on whether he had written any of the works in Op. 3; when asked years later he said he thought he had), but the Serenade is now definitely attributed to Roman Hoffstetter. In any case, you'll recognize it the minute you hear it.
While EMI's sound doesn't differ much throughout the four works, it is only No. 3 and the Serenade that are more recently recorded (if you consider 1999 recent). The two Op. 77 quartets were recorded a half dozen years earlier in 1993 and are only now seeing the light of day. Moreover, the later recordings were made live, although you'd only know it by the applause that suddenly erupts at the end of the first piece. In any case, the sound is fine, wide and well balanced, a little soft perhaps, given the reach across the ensemble, but done up within a realistic acoustic. The sound and the performances make a most pleasant offering.