Bruckner's rare c-minor Quartet was discovered in a lost notebook after WWII.
It was written in 1862 during a time of artistic maturation for Bruckner.
Doubtless it is a study work, but it exhibits Bruckner's meticulous craftsmanship--for in his personal integrity Bruckner ever determined to create fine work within its boundaries.
Withal, this is quite a nice string quartet: tidy, with echoes of early-Beethoven, also perhaps exhibiting parallels with the contemporaneous Franz Lachner.
The Quartet's form is perfect in its way, illustrating proficient string writing and good development of thematic material.
One would need a microscope, however, to detect in this piece hints of Bruckner's later greatness.
The Fine Arts Quartet here [24'09"] gives the work a bit more breathing-room than the Leipziger Streichquartett [21'13"].
Likewise, the FAQ gives a grandly inspired treatment to Bruckner's great F-major Quintet--(something akin to Thielemann's recent treatment of the Symphony No. 5).
In this case, while comfortably expanding the space-time scale, the FAQ recognizes the episodic periodization, following Bruckner's architectonic plan to a tittle.
Needless to say this is an important consideration, as Bruckner's Quintet--(falling chronologically between his Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6)--is not merely one of the most distinguished compositions in his oeuvre, but moreover the Quintet is one of the greatest chamber works of the later-19th Century.
It's simply a superb work in terms of form and content, on par with late-Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms.
The string writing is extremely assured: this is what we look for in small ensemble string media (trios, quartets, quintets).
Bruckner's advanced harmonic treatment is akin to Schubert's, but utterly original and individualistic.
(Bruckner knew Schubert's art via the latter's lieder and klavierstücke.)
The heart of the Quintet is of course the great Adagio, comparable perhaps to the Adagio of his Symphony No. 7.
The majestic vista of his vision here combined with the subjective depth of human affection recall the Adagio "Heiliger Dankgesang" of Beethoven's late a-minor Quartet, while anticipating the expansive Largo "Gebet mit dem leben Gott" of Reger's chef d'oeuvre--the Sextet.
Recordings of Bruckner's Quintet are now thankfully plentiful; but for price, sound, and performance, Naxos' issue here is definitely a bargain.
Disc also includes substitute Intermezzo for the Quintet, and substitute Rondo for the finale of the Quartet: nice.
Bruckner (Master Musicians)
Anton Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5 - Herbert von Karajan / Berlin Philharmonic
Anton Bruckner: Symphonie Nr. 7
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 (Arranged for Chamber Ensemble)
Symphonies 1-9 (Box)
Bruckner: String Quintet F major/String Quartet C minor
Bruckner: String Quintet; Intermezzo; Strauss: Prelude to Capriccio
Lachner: String Quartets Op. 169 & Op. 173
Lachner: String Quartets, Vol. 2
Max Reger: String Sextet in F