Composer Johannes Brahms was aware for his entire life that the listening public would compare his music with that of Beethoven. For that reason, Brahms continuously improved his Symphony number 1, and it was not published until Brahms was 40 years old.
The recording I have for you today, however, deals with Brahms’ chamber music. This music, too, was subject to great on going scrutiny.
String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 No. 1
String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 51 No. 2
Performed by the New Zealand String Quartet
Brahms’ two String Quartets, op.51, were the first he published, and they are very much mature masterpieces. He was very conscious of the tradition that lay behind the quartet genre, and the spirits of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert ensured that he took the greatest of care when preparing his own quartets.
Each perfectly proportioned movement of these works creates its own unique expressive narrative, exploring bitter-sweet tonalities and thematic treatment ranging from tender lyricism to dramatic intensity.
The New Zealand String Quartet celebrates its 29th season in 2016, and its distinguished international reputation has been enhanced through acclaim for their recordings.
Here is the New Zealand Quartet, performing the music of Beethoven, specifically the Rasumofsky quartet number 2: