Robert Volkmann - String Quartets 2 & 5

Posted By: tapaz9
Robert Volkmann - String Quartets 2 & 5

Robert Volkmann - String Quartets 2 & 5
Classical | EAC: FLAC+Cue+Log | 1 Cd, Covers + Booklet | 282 Mb
Label: CPO - Date: 1994

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.
Volkmann’s String Quartet No.2, Op.14 in g minor is actually thought to be his first, written a few months before No.1 but published after it. It was dedicated to the Hellmesberger Quartet of Vienna, perhaps at the time, the most famous in Europe. They quickly made the work well-known throughout Central Europe and a reputation for its composer. From the opening measures of the Allegro con spirito the listener is “taken by the throat.” The drive and dramatic thrust of the thematic material never lets up from start to finish in this extraordinary movement. A charming Andante, based on the German folksong, Kommt a Vogerl geflogen, follows. It is, without so being marked, a set of six variations. A superb Scherzo, Allegro moto, comes next. There is a short slower section, marked meno, which appears twice, the last time just before the end where it is truncated without warning by a tempo con fuoco. Really quite outstanding in everyway. The Andantino-Allegro energico-Presto is a fairly large movement and actually gives the impression of being two, if not three movements. The Andantino is by way of introduction and begins with a leisurely viola solo. The Allegro energico lives up to is name and is forceful and full of passion. There is no real development but a very starkly contrasting interlude tonally and thematically. It is a kind intermezzo before the storm. The Presto, used as a coda, hurtles the Quartet to its thrilling finish.
Most critics regard Volkmann's 5th String Quartet as the most striking, unique and powerful of the six he wrote. It dates from 1859, a year after he composed No.4. Formally, it is only in three movements which is in itself, for the time, quite unusual. The opening Allegro literally explodes with power and rage. The part-writing is masterly and creates a full-bodied, rich sound, verging on the orchestral. A peaceful Adagio in D flat comes next. In the final movement, initially marked Allegro energico, Volkmann creates two, if not three movements. At first, the music veers off in the fashion of a scherzo, a driving, powerful movement in ¾ time of the sort one finds in Beethoven’s middle period. The Allegro literally runs itself down into a very beautiful contrasting Andantino which cleverly makes use of the first theme from the Allegro while, at the same time, changing it into something totally different in mood. This, in effect, is the trio to the de facto scherzo. It, in turn, is superceded by an Allegro molto, which becomes faster and faster (presto and prestissimo) as it heads toward the coda which leaves both listener and player alike out of breath.
This quartet would be a tremendous success in the concert hall and certainly belongs there. Experienced amateurs should have no problems with it and will certainly enjoy it.

01. String Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 14: I. Allegro Con Spirito [0:05:15.26]
02. II. Andante [0:07:00.10]
03. III. Scherzo. Allegro Molto [0:04:29.68]
04. IV. Andantino-Allegro Energico-Presto [0:08:25.74]
05. String Quartet No. 5 in F minor, Op. 37: I. Allegro [0:05:26.19]
06. II. Adagio [0:08:39.70]
07. III. Allegro Energico-Andantino-Allegro Molto-Presto-Prestissimo [0:08:07.71]

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

EAC extraction logfile from 11. February 2013, 0:17

Robert Volkmann / String Quartets 2 & 5

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TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
1 | 0:00.00 | 5:15.26 | 0 | 23650
2 | 5:15.26 | 7:00.10 | 23651 | 55160
3 | 12:15.36 | 4:29.68 | 55161 | 75403
4 | 16:45.29 | 8:25.74 | 75404 | 113352
5 | 25:11.28 | 5:26.19 | 113353 | 137821
6 | 30:37.47 | 8:39.70 | 137822 | 176816
7 | 39:17.42 | 8:07.71 | 176817 | 213412

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