Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht [Fred Sherry String Quartet, Sextet] [Naxos: 8557534]
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Quatuor à cordes n°1, op.7 - Verklärte Nacht, op.4 - 4 Canons / Fred Sherry String Quartet and Sextet
'The urgency is raw and immediate, occasionally hard-driven in an acoustic suggesting confined spaces and close interactions; the result is undeniably exciting.' --Gramophone, November 2013
'This quartet is not an easy work to project [String Quartet No. 1]...but the Fred Sherry Quartet, led by no less a violinist than Leila Josefowicz, has its measure.' --The Strad, Februrary 2014
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For enthusiasts of the string quartet genre, Schönberg's canon of five offers a tremendous bounty in terms of style and idea; moreover, for those whose mind inclines towards historical dialectic, it's immensely gratifying that each of Schönberg's quartets perfectly corresponds with the periodization of his artistic career.
In this vein, the d-minor Quartet is an apex of his Art Nouveau first period (A.D. 1900-08).
Cover art by Félix Vallotton.