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Sacconi Quartet|Schubert: String Quartet in D Minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden" - Beethoven: String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131

Schubert: String Quartet in D Minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden" - Beethoven: String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131

Sacconi Quartet

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The Sacconi Quartet has specialized in contemporary music, but it would be wrong to infer that they take a cool, intellectual approach to Schubert's String Quartet in D minor, D. 810 ("Death and the Maiden"), and Beethoven's String Quartet in C sharp minor, Op. 131, two almost contemporaneous works. These are close-up, emotionally intense readings, although not frenetic ones, and they're quite involving; there are plenty of recordings available for these peaks of the string quartet repertory, but this one showed up on classical best-seller lists in the autumn of 2023. The Schubert has a strong narrative sense throughout, not just in the death-haunted second movement, whose basis is his own song, setting a poem by Matthias Claudius. The Sacconi Quartet captures the sense of how the song took on new emotional resonance for the composer, who had just received very bad medical news when he wrote the quartet in 1824. The Beethoven, too, has a narrative edge, beginning neutrally with the opening-movement fugue and proceeding through deeply lyrical slow movement and savage, Bartókian folklike tunes. The group never goes over the edge; these are string quartet readings within the usual tradition, but they have a strong effect that sinks in deeper on subsequent hearings. The Orchid Classics engineering team contributes to the overall effect that is intimate but not breathy. This is one of the strongest chamber music recordings of the 2023 holiday season, and it will be heard well beyond.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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Schubert: String Quartet in D Minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden" - Beethoven: String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131

Sacconi Quartet

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1
String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden": I. Allegro
00:11:28

Franz Schubert, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

2
String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden": II. Andante con moto
00:14:35

Franz Schubert, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

3
String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden": III. Scherzo. Allegro molto
00:03:58

Franz Schubert, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

4
String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden": IV. Presto
00:09:48

Franz Schubert, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

5
String Quartet No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131: I. Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo
00:07:47

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

6
String Quartet No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131: II. Allegro molto vivace
00:03:11

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

7
String Quartet No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131: III. Allegro moderato
00:00:46

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

8
String Quartet No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131: IV. Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile
00:14:00

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

9
String Quartet No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131: V. Presto
00:05:24

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

10
String Quartet No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131: VI. Adagio quasi un poco andante
00:02:13

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

11
String Quartet No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131: VII. Allegro
00:06:51

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

Album review

The Sacconi Quartet has specialized in contemporary music, but it would be wrong to infer that they take a cool, intellectual approach to Schubert's String Quartet in D minor, D. 810 ("Death and the Maiden"), and Beethoven's String Quartet in C sharp minor, Op. 131, two almost contemporaneous works. These are close-up, emotionally intense readings, although not frenetic ones, and they're quite involving; there are plenty of recordings available for these peaks of the string quartet repertory, but this one showed up on classical best-seller lists in the autumn of 2023. The Schubert has a strong narrative sense throughout, not just in the death-haunted second movement, whose basis is his own song, setting a poem by Matthias Claudius. The Sacconi Quartet captures the sense of how the song took on new emotional resonance for the composer, who had just received very bad medical news when he wrote the quartet in 1824. The Beethoven, too, has a narrative edge, beginning neutrally with the opening-movement fugue and proceeding through deeply lyrical slow movement and savage, Bartókian folklike tunes. The group never goes over the edge; these are string quartet readings within the usual tradition, but they have a strong effect that sinks in deeper on subsequent hearings. The Orchid Classics engineering team contributes to the overall effect that is intimate but not breathy. This is one of the strongest chamber music recordings of the 2023 holiday season, and it will be heard well beyond.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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