Alban BERG (1885-1935)
String Quartet, Op. 3. Lyric
Anton WEBERN (1992-1945)
Three Pieces for String Quarteta (planned as Op. 3 No.
Leipzig String Quartet (Andreas
Seidel, Tilman Büning, violins; Ivo Bauer, viola; Matthias Moosdorf,
Dabringhaus und Grimm
The Leipzig String Quartet's recordings of the Schoenberg String Quartets
for this label have firmly established this group's credentials in the music
of the Second Viennese School. Here is a worthy successor: they combine a
Romantic warmth with a questing sense of discovery, which itself reflects
the processes going on in the music itself. Those who feel a more modernist
approach is warranted should opt instead for the Arditti Quartet's versions
on Montaigne 789001.
The String Quartet Op. 3 too often lies in the shadow of its bigger brother,
the Lyric Suite. Unjustifiably so: written in 1910 (i.e. towards the
end of Berg's studies with Schoenberg), it is confidently crafted and exhibits
many characteristic traits of Berg's compositional style, most notably in
the intense thematic correspondences and reworkings. The Leipzig Quartet
produces a warm, lyrical sound appropriate to the yearning quality of the
music itself. As with the other pieces on the disc, the recording is quite
close and analytical (although not suffocatingly so).
The Leipzig Quartet responds well to the mature language of the Lyric
Suite (1925/6). They bring out the spectral sonorities of the Allegro
misterioso and are emotionally charged in the Adagio appassionato.
Shades of Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht appear in the Andante
amoroso, where the delicacy of the playing is a delight.
The three Webern miniatures, written in the summer of 1913, are the perfect
complement. They make up part of his projected Op. 3. Their hyper-rarefied,
whispered textures and concentrated form require the highest concentration
from the listener. The soprano Christiane Oelze sings the voice part to the
Outstanding, and an ideal addition to the Leipzig's recordings of Schoenberg
String Quartets (MDG
0773-2) and the Webern String Quartets