Magazine article Gramophone

Mendelssohn: 'Complete Chamber Music for Strings, Vol 3'

Magazine article Gramophone

Mendelssohn: 'Complete Chamber Music for Strings, Vol 3'

Article excerpt

Mendelssohn

'Complete Chamber Music for Strings, Vol 3'

String Quartet No. 5, Op 44 No. 3.

Four Pieces, Op 81-No. 1; No. 2. Octet, Op 20 (a)

Mandelring Quartet; (a) Cremona Quartet

Audite (F) ** AUDITE92 658 (74' * DDD/DSD)

The Mandelring Quartet have been garnering warm reviews for their Mendelssohn series which, enterprisingly, encompasses the complete string chamber music rather than just the quartets. They have been very well recorded, with plenty of immediacy, which captures the visceral and at times robust quality of their playing. For example, in the Op 81 Pieces there's a rawness in the Scherzo that has a kind of no-nonsense appeal. Yet I found myself longing for more clarity in the individual lines, something that the Elias Quartet convey wonderfully while still sounding hugely spontaneous.

The Mandelring capture well the bustling energy of the finale of Op 44 No. 3. But turn to the Zemlinsky and you'll find a lot more yearning in the quietly grave slow movement, where the Mandelring seem less inclined to withdraw to a whisper. Also particularly effective in the hands of both the Zemlinsky and the Eroica is a tautness of intent in the Scherzo. …

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