Robert Volkmann - String Quartets Nos. 1 & 4

Posted By: tapaz9
Robert Volkmann - String Quartets Nos. 1 & 4

Robert Volkmann - String Quartets Nos. 1 & 4
Classical | EAC: FLAC+Cue+Log | 1 Cd, Covers + Booklet | 311 Mb
Label: CPO - Date: 1993

Friedrich Robert Volkmann (1815-1883) was almost an exact contemporary of Wagner, however, he certainly did not tread the same path as his fellow countryman. Volkmann forever kept Beethoven in front of him as his model although he was later to fall under the sway of Mendelssohn and then Schumann.
String Quartet No.1 was composed in 1847-8 during his first sojourn in Pest, but not published until he moved to Vienna in 1854. Regarded as modern-sounding at the time, today it does not sound so to us, but one should keep in mind that it was published when Brahms was but 21 and Schumann still alive. The lengthy, slow introduction of the Largo-Allegro non troppo builds an incredible amount of suspense and is reminescent of late Beethoven structurally with its long silences. After it fades away ppp, without warning, the Allegro literally explodes, moving forward with tremendous energy and drama. (Our soundbite begins here) The center of gravity in this quartet is clearly in the mammoth Adagio molto. The first subject, which is of great simplicity, is made to sound, through the use of triplets, like a slow-motion minuet. But what develops is of considerable complexity, not only rhythmically but thematically as well. A captivating Presto follows and is a headlong gallop which only stops for breath in a somewhat slower and more lyrical middle section. In the finale, Allegro impetuoso, one hears echoes of Beethoven, especially in the opening sustained notes, but the writing is pure Volkmann. This fine work will certainly give much pleasure to amateurs and deserves performance in concert. It presents no great technical demands on the players.
String Quartet No.4 was composed in Vienna. The first subject of the opening Allegro comodo, is very beautiful and highly romantic. The Scherzo presto which follows is superb. Volkmann excelled at writing clever, exciting and memorable scherzi and this is certainly one of them. It is a headlong gallop, played in one, over almost before its begun. A muted Andantino in 5 sharps follows. It is short, uncomplicated and reflective in mood. The finale, Allegretto Vivace, is a very interesting movement, if for no other reason than it quotes both Beethoven and Smetana. A sort of ‘laid-back’ or relaxed moto perpetuo, it is nonetheless quite captivating with some rather dramatic moments. A clearly identifiable snippet to the first movement of Beethoven’s Op.18 No.4 can be heard twice as can a very dramatic theme which Smetana borrowed more than twenty years later in his first Aus Mein Leben quartet.

01. String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 9: I. Largo-Allegro Non Troppo [0:10:52.61]
02. II. Adagio Molto [0:14:36.17]
03. III. Presto [0:04:48.05]
04. IV. Allegro Impetuoso [0:05:36.36]
05. String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 35: I. Allegro Comodo [0:07:45.26]
06. II. Scherzo. Presto [0:03:00.74]
07. III. Andantino [0:04:18.07]
08. IV. Finale. Allegro Vivace [0:08:39.53]

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 9. February 2013, 23:30

Robert Volkmann / String Quartets Nos. 1 & 4

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TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
1 | 0:00.00 | 10:52.61 | 0 | 48960
2 | 10:52.61 | 14:36.17 | 48961 | 114677
3 | 25:29.03 | 4:48.05 | 114678 | 136282
4 | 30:17.08 | 5:36.36 | 136283 | 161518
5 | 35:53.44 | 7:45.26 | 161519 | 196419
6 | 43:38.70 | 3:00.74 | 196420 | 209993
7 | 46:39.69 | 4:18.07 | 209994 | 229350
8 | 50:58.01 | 8:39.53 | 229351 | 268328

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