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

 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

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

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


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



Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
String Quartet No.14 in D minor ‘Death and the Maiden’, D.810 [41:58]
String Quartet No.12 in C minor, D.703 ‘Quartettsatz’ [10:29]
Quatuor Schäffer
rec. 1958, Schola Cantorum, Paris

With next to nothing on the internet of information regarding this ensemble, I've had to rely on the brief paragraph on the back tray of the CD provided by Forgotten Records. The first violinist Kurt Schäffer was a professor in Salzburg and Düsseldorf. Second violinist Franzjosef Maier played an important role in the musical life of Cologne and founded the ensemble Aureum Collegium. Franz Beyer was lead viola in the Chamber Orchestra of Stuttgart and played in the Strub Quartet.  He also taught in Cologne and Düsseldorf, as did cellist Kurt Herzbruch. How long the ensemble functioned, I couldn’t ascertain

In the Death and the Maiden the Quatuor Schäffer achieves dramatic impact from the start with fortissimo unisons. The savagery grabs you by the scruff of the neck. Throughout the movement they surf the shifting moods with a true sense of direction, and dynamic contrasts are strictly observed. They don't observe the exposition repeats, a drawback in my view. The work gets its subtitle from the composer's song Death and the Maiden, and this serves as the theme of the slow movement, which undergoes the variation treatment. The hushed intensity by which the movement opens works well in creating an atmosphere of serenity, important in providing balm when the other movements traverse the paths of unremitting tension. Then comes a Scherzo, a tarantella which, in the Schäffer's hands, is both wild and mocking. The finale is a stormy Presto, and the performance bristles with nervous energy.

Intensity and urgency are the hallmarks of the performance of the Quartettsatz, where tension is maintained throughout. The Quatuor Schäffer sound fiery and determined and this helps profile the beguiling second melody when it appears. Similar qualities are found in the Amadeus Quartet's recording, which I grew up with.

Recorded in mid-October 1958, the ambience of the Schola Cantorum, Paris confers the intimacy this music deserves. The mono LP (no stereo exists) Resonances RES 22, from which this transfer is taken, is a fine, clean and quiet copy.

Stephen Greenbank

Advertising on

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 cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

September 2022
Nikolai Medtner
Herbert Blomstedt
Tarrodi Four Elements
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili