Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Alban BERG
String Quartet, Op. 3. Lyric Suite.
Three Pieces for String Quarteta (planned as Op. 3 No. 3).
Leipzig String Quartet (Andreas Seidel, Tilman Büning, violins; Ivo Bauer, viola; Matthias Moosdorf, cello).
Dabringhaus und Grimm MDG3070996-2 [DDD] [51'38]

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 second movement.

Outstanding, and an ideal addition to the Leipzig's recordings of Schoenberg String Quartets (MDG 307 0919-2, 307 0935-2 and 307 0773-2) and the Webern String Quartets (307 0589-2).


Colin Clarke



Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers : - The UK's Biggest Video Store

Concert and Show tickets


Musicians accessories

Click here to visit

Return to Index