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String Quartets Op 13 & Op 50

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, November 5, 1996
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30
8:26
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5:07
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3
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6:09
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7:38
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5
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6:33
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4:50
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Franz Schubert Quartett
  • Composer: Hans Pfitzner
  • Audio CD (November 5, 1996)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B000001RT1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,568 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By G.D. VINE VOICE on May 30, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Pfitzner's four string quartets are not frequently performed (indeed, the vast majority of Pfitzner's works is not frequently performed), and I am grateful to cpo for their advocacy of the composer. Stylistically Pfitzner remained a conservative throughout his career; his music is sometimes compared to that of Reger, but Pfitzner's music is generally somewhat airier and although it is often passionately romantic, the passions are less unbridled than one often finds in Reger. In addition Pfitzner's music owes much more to Schumann, and Schumann was an influence that seems to have remained with him throughout his career, as evidenced by the two works here (from 1902 and 1942, respectively). Still, I admit that I cannot really think of any composer (Schillings, perhaps) whose music Pfitzner's might be more obviously compared to than Reger. That said, my enthusiasm for the two quartets on this disc is not unconditional. There are good things here, to be sure, but the thematic material is generally undistinguished, and it isn't helped by the somewhat thin-toned strings of the Franz Schubert Quartett.

The second quartet opens with a romantic movement that at least skillfully develops the rather anonymous material. The second movement is catchier, but the deeply emotional third movement contains little of interest. The finale is at least spirited and cheerful, but nothing here registers in one's memory. As for the fourth quartet the style has not undergone any noticeable changes. It is still a well-crafted work, but again the thematic material is pretty undistinguished - and Pfitzner doesn't make it easy for himself by giving us three overall slow movements before the Allegro finale. The first movement is reserved and sounds completely inconsequential.
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