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The Classical Explorer

February 2010 Archives

Quartets from St. Petersburg

Profil PH06032

Anton Ferdinand Tietz

String Quartet #4 in C minor, Op. 1 #4 (1781)
String Quartet #5 in D minor, Op. 1 #5 (1781)
String Quartet #7 in G Major (1802)
String Quartet #9 in A minor (1802)

Hoffmeister Quartet
Profil PH06032 60:46

This German composer, born in Nuremberg, spent much of his professional life at the imperial court in St. Petersburg. He was the favorite musician of Catherine The Great, and richly rewarded for his service.

He composed at least 15 string quartets in three sets: six written before 1798 and published in Paris as his Op. 1, a set of three finished about 1802, and a final set of six completed in his final years. This first volume gives a sampling of two each from the first two sets. These are are relatively large-scale, Viennese Classical quartets in the style of the mature string quartets of Wolfgang Mozart and Franz Joseph Haydn.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ]

[ Volume II available on Profil PH09046 76:02 - Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ]

Unknown Schubert 1

Naxos 8.553095

Franz Schubert

Symphony #4 in C Minor "Tragic", D. 417
Symphony in C Major

Failoni Orchestra/Michael Halász
Naxos 8.553095 75:57

Apart from the eight familiar Schubert symphonies (1-6, 8, 9), there are various others which have either been completed or orchestrated after Schubert's death. The fourth symphony is well-known. The Symphony in C Major is an orchestration by Joseph Joachim, the nineteeth-century violinist and composer, of the Grand Duo D. 812 for two pianos. Robert Schumann and others found a symphonic quality to the duo and wondered if Schubert had intended it as such. Purists may quibble, but the orchestration sounds suitably Schubertian and provides us with about 45 minutes of attractive orchestral music. Halász has recorded the rest of the usual canon for Naxos and although I have not heard them all, I can recommend those that I have.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]