Hagen’s Amazing CD of the Month

If you are a long-term reader of my Blog, then you already know that I am a huge admirer of the Hagen Quartet of Salzburg, Austria. I selected this CD as the recording of the month for December, 2015, even though the recording is not new.

Three of the four performers are siblings who grew up in Salzburg as members of a musical family. The fourth member is Violinist Rainer Schmidt, who is originally from Germany.

The quality of ensemble playing by these folks is legendary, and this CD is absolutely awesome. The reason is because the listener gets to experience a huge array of colors, shadings, pauses, and intensity ranges that are unequaled.

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The tracks are:

Beethoven:

1. String Quartet No. 8 in E minor (‘Rasumovsky No. 2’), Op. 59/2
2. String Quartet No. 8 in E minor (‘Rasumovsky No. 2’), Op. 59/2
3. String Quartet No. 8 in E minor (‘Rasumovsky No. 2’), Op. 59/2
4. String Quartet No. 8 in E minor (‘Rasumovsky No. 2’), Op. 59/2

Mozart:
5. String Quartet No. 16 in E flat major, K. 428 (K. 421b)
6. String Quartet No. 16 in E flat major, K. 428 (K. 421b)
7. String Quartet No. 16 in E flat major, K. 428 (K. 421b)
8. String Quartet No. 16 in E flat major, K. 428 (K. 421b)

Anton Webern:

9. Movements (5) for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 1
10. Movements (5) for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 2
11. Movements (5) for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 3
12. Movements (5) for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 4
13. Movements (5) for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 5

Webern:
14. Bagatelles (6) for string quartet, Op. 9: No. 1
15. Bagatelles (6) for string quartet, Op. 9: No. 2
16. Bagatelles (6) for string quartet, Op. 9: No. 3
17. Bagatelles (6) for string quartet, Op. 9: No. 4
18. Bagatelles (6) for string quartet, Op. 9: No. 5
19. Bagatelles (6) for string quartet, Op. 9: No. 6

As always, we get to listen to great musical interpretations: Mozart, from the late 1700’s; ¬†Beethoven, from the early 1800’s; and finally Webern, who died in the 1900’s.

I invite you to look for other posts that I wrote over the past years about these fine performers.

And here, just for you, is a video of the Hagen Quartet performing the Quartet K 428 by Mozart:

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