Schubert’s genius

Schubert: String Quartets ‘Rosamunde’ and ‘Death and the Maiden’

This CD presents Schubert’s final three string quartets: No 13 in A minor, ‘Rosamunde’; No 14 in D minor, ‘Death and the Maiden’ (with its haunting second movement based on his song “Der Tod und das Mädchen”), and No 15 in G major.

After the Artemis Quartet‘s prizewinning Beethoven Quartet cycle, the Berlin-based ensemble has recorded Schubert’s last three string quartets. The Artemis cellist Eckart Runge praises these works for both their “incredible simplicity and purity” and their “almost terrifying modernism”.


  • String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D810 ‘Death and the Maiden’
  • String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D804 ‘Rosamunde’
  • String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D887

Performed by the Artemis Quartet

Schubert and Beethoven were contemporaries in Vienna, and Beethoven is reputed to have returned some of the younger composer’s admiration, but, as Eckart Runge, cellist of the Artemis Quartet points out: “In some senses, Beethoven and Schubert could hardly be more different.”

He goes on to say that “The Artemis Quartet’s intensive experience of performing and recording the Beethoven cycle between 2009 and 2011 has provided new perspectives on every other quartet we play.”

There is an amazing modernism in these three late Schubert quartets, but it is totally different from the ‘modernism’ of Beethoven. And, when placed together in one program, the three Schubert quartets shine in another light:

• No. 14 is concentrated and dramatic;
• No. 15 is huge, symphonic, and cosmic,
• And No. 13 is introspective and melancholy – less spectacular than the other two.

Here is the Artemis quartet in a trailer for this recording, and the amazing music of Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden”



Tags: Artemis quartet, Schubert, Quartets 13 14 15

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