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The String Quartet

Even though Robert Schumann (1810-1856) became renowned because of his highly romantic, literary and technically virtuous piano works, he was, at the same time, the creator of impressive orchestral compositions and extraordinary chamber music. In the summer of 1842, he created his three String Quartets Opus 41, dedicated to his friend Felix Mendelssohn. It even seems as if the three quartets together should have formed one large quartet in 12 parts. This would have been Schumanns ultimate test and explains why the three times 4 parts are so different, but yet so closely connected.

Bernhard Molique (1802-1869) was a composer contemporary with Mendelssohn and Schumann, but rather an heir to his tutor Louis Spohr. His music has similar features as that of George Onslow, but contains a somewhat archaic minuet that seems to have come from Haydn’s days.

Robert Schumann – String Quartet in F-Major, Opus 41:2
1. Allegro vivace, 2. Andante, quasi variazioni, 3. Scherzo: Presto, 4. Allegro molto vivace-più mosso
Performers: Hagen Quartett
CD: Deutsche Grammophon

Bernhard Molique – String Quartet in E flat Major, Opus 18:3
1. Allegro, 2. Andante, 3. Menuetto, 4. Presto
Performers: Mannheim String Quartet
CD: CPO

Felix Mendelssohn – Fuga from Opus 81 (1827)
Performers: Emerson String Quartet
CD: Deutsche Grammophon

 

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