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String Quintet & Quartettsatz

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Audio CD, May 13, 2014
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Cypress String Quartet
  • Conductor: Gary Hoffman
  • Composer: Franz SCHUBERT
  • Audio CD (May 13, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Avie
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,541 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. String Quintet in C, D956
2. String Quartet in C minor Quartettsatz

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Cypress String Quartet is a wonderful ensemble (Gramophone) whose
extremely fine playing (Classical Reviewer) has lent itself to music of
Dvo rák and contemporary Americans on their recordings for AVIE. They
now turn to core 19th-century fare, some of the greatest chamber music ever
written: Schubert s single-movement Quartettsatz, and the composer s final
chamber work, the enduring String Quintet, joined by eminent Canadian
cellist Gary Hoffman. The Cypress elegant, clear signature sound lends itself
perfectly to these two masterworks.


Artistry of uncommon insight and cohesion. --Gramophone

Beautifully proportioned and powerful. --The Washington Post

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John J. Puccio TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 4, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Schubert structured the Quintet in a usual four-movement scheme--Allegro ma non troppo; Adagio; Scherzo. Presto - Trio. Andante sostenuto; and Allegretto--although for Schubert the use of an Adagio was somewhat exceptional. It was a terrific decision, though, as it turns out to be the highlight of the piece.

The players take the first movement at the composer's word, somewhat brisk and lively but not too much so. Their music has a sweet, relaxed quality about it that's hard to resist. They do a fine job capturing Schubert's wonderful lyricism, maintaining each line with obvious care and affection.

Then it's on to the celebrated Adagio, which Ward and the Cypress performers carry out splendidly, in very expressive, emotive terms. While most of the movement remains serene, there is a stormy interlude toward the middle that disrupts the tranquility, yet the players handle it smoothly, making the transition seem perfectly natural and appear practically seamless.

The Scherzo actually sounds like three or four movements combined, moving from one contrasting theme to another. It's not an easy job to hold it all together, but the Cypress players do so comfortably. The outer segments are loud and energetic, almost frenetic, especially at the beginning. Yet the Cypress group never let it get out of hand, always keeping things melodious and sparkling, even when tensions are rising to a whirlwind pitch.

Maybe in some kind of foreshadowing of his own demise, Schubert ends the music initially on a dark note. Although the players take the final Allegretto at the designated brisk pace, emphasizing the music's vaguely Hungarian-rhapsody quality, there is always a slightly brooding feeling underlying the music's bounce.
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Format: Audio CD
Is there anything more beautiful in all the chamber music literature than these two Schubert pieces? I have listened to them innumerable times since I heard them first in a concert more than 60 years ago, played by the Koeckert Quartet. Since then I have heard them played by most of the most prominent American and European quartets and I own several recordings of them.

I listened to this new recording played by the Cypress String Quartet with great anticipation and it met all my expectations. These are excellent musicians playing on excellent instruments and with an excellent understanding of Schubert and his time. What a pleasure it is to listen to this new CD. It ranks among the best.
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