Dvořák String Quartets 8 & 10 Albion Quartet
- Antonín Dvořák (1841 - 1904): String Quartet No. 8 in E Major, Op. 88:
- 1String Quartet No. 8 in E Major, Op. 88: I. Allegro08:41
- 2String Quartet No. 8 in E Major, Op. 88: II. Andante con moto06:49
- 3String Quartet No. 8 in E Major, Op. 88: III. Allegro scherzando04:53
- 4String Quartet No. 8 in E Major, Op. 88: IV. Finale: Allegro con brio07:11
- String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major, Op. 51:
- 5String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major, Op. 51: I. Allegro ma non troppo10:30
- 6String Quartet No. 10 in E flat Major, Op. 51: II. Andante con moto07:16
- 7String Quartet No. 10 in E flat Major, Op. 51: III. Andante con moto06:12
- 8String Quartet No. 10 in E flat Major, Op. 51: IV. Finale: Allegro assai06:52
Info for Dvořák String Quartets 8 & 10
The Albion Quartet continue their Dvořák series with Signum. This is their second release on the label, featuring Dvořák’s 8th & 10th string quartets.
It has long been recognized that Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was one of the greatest late nineteenth-century contributors to the string quartet, and the accolade says something important about his aspirations as a composer. After all, this restricted medium, with strong reminders of the early eighteenth century in its duetting violins, was powerfully against the times in a period of gigantic instrumental and choral ensembles, and of ever more extreme searches for new colours and combinations. But it was equally clear that the string quartet had, since the days of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, transcended its limited sonic possibilities. It had come to represent not so much an ensemble as a Tradition: one of two critical symbols (the other was the symphony) of the aesthetic prestige that Austro-German instrumental music had claimed over the course of the century. There was, though, an evident problem with the string quartet: unlike the symphony, which could easily accommodate explosions of colour by employing an ever-expanding orchestra, the quartet remained trapped in its peculiar, restricted sound world. Small wonder that those most anxious about their place in the Tradition trod warily. Mendelssohn’s remarkable, almost carefree teenage confrontations with late Beethoven quartets (his Op. 12 and Op. 13) were never replicated. Brahms and Schumann, both drawn to chamber music and intimate expression, tended to shy away from pushing the boundaries of the quartet, reserving for the medium some of their most conservative and “serious” inspirations. By the end of the nineteenth century, the quartet seems almost to have sunk under the weight of its sanctity. It took a new wave of “classical” composers in the twentieth century, armed with new musical languages and new reasons to cultivate austerity, to renew the ensemble from within: cue Schoenberg, cue Bartók, cue Shostakovitch. ...
Formed in 2016, the Albion Quartet unites four outstanding young string players, brought together by a shared belief in the visceral power of the string quartet. The upcoming season sees the quartet returning to the Wigmore Hall and Aldeburgh Festival, as well as continuing residencies at Sainte-Mere Festival in France and RWCMD in Cardiff. They will be making a number of broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, whilst continuing their recording projects for Signum Records, for whom they are exclusive artists.
Recent engagements from the 2017-18 season included performances at the Louvre in Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Robert Schumann Gesselschaft in Frankfurt, Båstad Festival in Sweden, Festival of Music in Franconia and Rhine Valley Music Festival in Germany, as well as the Hay Festival in the UK. They were artists in residence at the Ryedale Festival, exploring the chamber works of Dvorak, and are currently recording a Dvorak cycle for their label, Signum Records. They have been invited back for an extended residency to explore the complete set of Mozart Haydn quartets, with the exciting addition that each one is to be paired with a brand new commissioned work.
Their commitment to new music has most recently seen a collaboration with Kate Whitley for a powerful and evocative song cycle, the ‘Charlotte Mew Songs’, recently performed with soprano Caroline Melzer. Over the summer the quartet is excited to be premiering and touring a new work by Freya Waley-Cohen, co-commissioned by Aldeburgh Festival, the Phillips Collection and Sainte-Mere Festival.
Upcoming performances include their US debut at the Phillips Collection in Washington, alongside appearances at several festivals including the Oxford Lieder, Stratford International, Belfast International, Cheltenham, Presteigne, and Lichfield, and participating in Beethoven cycles in the UK and Portugal.
Passionate about musical education, the quartet holds a residency at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where they regularly give masterclasses and performances in the Dora Stoutzker Hall. As a Cavatina Chamber Music Trust ensemble, they also give frequent workshops at primary school level where they are thrilled to share the magic of chamber music with children from diverse backgrounds.
The members of the quartet play on a fine collection of instruments, including a Stradivarius and Guarnerius.
This album contains no booklet.