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Octets for Strings

Mendelssohn , Enescu , Christian Tetzlaff , Isabelle Faust , Lisa Batiashvili , Antje Weithaus , Ori Kam , Rachel Roberts , Tanja Tetzlaff , Quirine Viersen Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Octets for Strings + Sibelius & Lindberg: Violin Concertos + Echoes of Time
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Product Details

  • Performer: Christian Tetzlaff, Isabelle Faust, Lisa Batiashvili, Antje Weithaus, Ori Kam, et al.
  • Composer: Mendelssohn, Enescu
  • Audio CD (September 8, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cavi-Music
  • ASIN: B00284SDLY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,425 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Octet for strings in E flat major, Op. 20: Allegro moderato, ma con fuoco
2. Octet for strings in E flat major, Op. 20: Andante
3. Octet for strings in E flat major, Op. 20: Scherzo. Allegro leggierissimo
4. Octet for strings in E flat major, Op. 20: Presto
5. String Octet in C major, Op. 7: Très modéré
6. String Octet in C major, Op. 7: Très fougueux
7. String Octet in C major, Op. 7: Lentement
8. String Octet in C major, Op. 7: Mouvement de Valse bien rythmée

Editorial Reviews


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Desert Island Disc June 1, 2011
By RJAdams
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A desert island disc for me. Performed with muscle and passion in high impact sound, the two octets are wonderful foils for each other. Sunny exhilaration and joy in Mendelssohn (1825) are contrasted with ripe, sinuous melody and primeval longing in the less familiar Enescu (1900).

The Enescu occupies ground similar to Schoenberg's Verklaerte Nacht (composed a year earlier), but is less tone poem and more classically structured in its four movement format. The Octet is as intense and dramatic as Schoenberg's Sextet. Enescu's long and chromatic opening melodic lines are inspired and reoccur regenerated throughout the composition. Like Mendelssohn, Enescu uses the full octet, with "the second quartet" adding harmonic and rhythmic underpinning. All the octaves and pizzicato passages impart to the work alternatively the tropical languor one associates with late romanticism and impressionism as well as the folk music propulsiveness one associates with Haydn, Beethoven and Bartok. Written by a teenager, this is elemental music that interweaves Freud and folk.

In concurrence with other reviewers, I agree the performances have a great sense of occasion, probably a function of the excitement of performing before an audience, that only adds to the frisson one gets from these masterpieces. The recording has tremendous presence with a powerful, rich bass. Perhaps some audiophiles would be amazed at the visceral impact of a pair of chamber works without brass or percussion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic Octet Recording October 18, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a dynamic recording. In the Mendelssohn Octet, for example, The atmosphere is really electric, and the players are completely in phase with one another. In the background, the acoustics are alive with sympathetic power, but there is great clarity of the individual frequencies of each instrument. The pace at first seems to be at lightning speed; but when Mendelssohn's lyrical theme comes to light, one can see that it glows with just the right color. The audience certainly does not remain static in their praise. They discharge the evening with high energy applause that nearly burns the house down. I really enjoy this performance and recording.
-Robert
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulsating with youthful energy July 24, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Felix Mendelssohn's familiar four (4) movement Octet for strings was written when he was a teenager and is filled with youthful energy and youthful optimism for his future. In this splendid live German recording, Felix's youthful energy and optimism seem to pulsate through my stereo's speakers splendidly. The performers in this 2008 Spannungen Chamber Music Festival recording are some of Germany's prominent musicians including Christian Tetzalaff on violin with Lars Vogt, Artistic Director, give wonderful and spirited performances of both the Mendelssohn and Enescu String Octets.

The rather unfamiliar Octet of George Enescu was also written when he was a teen in the late 1800s and is, of course, very different than the Mendelssohn work. Enesco's work is very late Romantic sounding tonal work sounding, to me, very much like an early Schoenberg composition. Whatever it sounds like, it is given a splendid "full bodied" performance on this recording and in spite of its density, all of the instrumental "voices" come through very clearly.

I really enjoyed this recording because the performances are great and the sound is terrific.
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