MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

2021
57,473reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

 

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews

Love-violin-NI6428
Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899)
Quartet in C minor, Op 35 (1899, unfinished) [27:12]
Marc GUETTIER (b. 1931)
Quartet in A (2000) [24:24]
Guillaume Plays (violin), Cyril Garac (violin), Marc Desmons (viola), Jérôme Pinget (cello)
rec. December 2003, location not provided
AMESON ASCP0508 [51:04]

The practice of piggybacking a modernist piece onto one by an established composer looks like a good marketing idea, but is probably doomed to satisfy nobody. The listener intrepid enough to try something new may be irritated at getting, say, yet another Schumann or Sibelius concerto, while those allergic to "new music" in any form are apt to give such a program a wide berth. On this album, however, it's the work by the unfamiliar composer that makes the more favorable impression!

The Paris-trained violinist-composer Marc Guettier's quartet, according to the booklet, is his "major work" in a small catalogue. Guettier seems to have had the Debussy quartet in mind while he was writing it. There's a thematic kinship between the first movement's wandering main theme and Debussy's, and a stylistic one between the two sprightly scherzos. But the strongest resemblance is in the overall aesthetic. Guettier, like Debussy, uses advanced harmonies and irregular stressing – note the scherzo's hemiolas – to generate instability; yet, as with the older composer, the music leaves a poised, serene impression. The effect is of an appealing emulation, rather than flat-out imitation.

The unified phrasing and well-balanced, full-bodied sonority of the ad hoc quartet assembled here make as strong a case for the piece as one might wish. Guettier's hommage, forging a distinctive voice from an older idiom, would certainly prove as worthy a discmate to the Debussy and Ravel quartets – a logical, not to say reflexive, LP coupling that has persisted into the digital era – as some of the odd choices that have been tried.

Chausson certainly qualifies as an Established Composer – if not necessarily a Great one – but the three extant movements of an incomplete string quartet, at least in this rendition, don't show him at his best. The composer's post-Wagnerian harmonies effectively project restlessness – very "horizontal" in the French manner, where Wagner used them "vertically" – but they sit less comfortably on the sparer textures of a string quartet than they do on the full orchestra. And while the central Très calme movement gets a full-bodied performance, execution is less assured in the two bracketing movements. The players clearly understand the broad, arching phrases, but in the scurrying writing they can't find the time to give each note full tone, or to ensure they all speak dead center on the pitches.

Still, these things may matter less for some listeners, who will be happy to discover a "new" work by Chausson. And the Guettier is worth hearing. It's your call.

Stephen Francis Vasta

 

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1