- String Quartets Nos. 1 and 4.
The Escher Quartet has launched a three-disc cycle of Mendelssohn’s string quartets, including the unnumbered String Quartet in E flat major and – on coming installments – the four pieces for string quartet Op. 81. We hear the following selections: Mendelssohn:
- String Quartet No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 12
- String Quartet in E flat major, Op. ‘0’
- String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 44 No. 2
Performed by Escher String Quartet.
Music for string quartet occupied Mendelssohn throughout his life, from the E flat major quartet – which he composed at the age of 14 – to the String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, his last major work, completed only two months before his death in 1847.
As a body of work, the quartets demonstrate many of Mendelssohn’s finest qualities as a composer, and his understanding of the music of both Bach and Beethoven.
Composed in 1829, the Quartet Op. 12 is an early one, while the E minor quartet, Op. 44 No. 2, can be counted as one of the first masterpieces by the mature Mendelssohn.
Here is the Elgar String Quartet in E minor, as performed by the Escher String Quartet:
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