Magazine article Gramophone

Puccini: R Strauss: Verdi: Puccini Crisantemi

Magazine article Gramophone

Puccini: R Strauss: Verdi: Puccini Crisantemi

Article excerpt

Puccini * R Strauss * Verdi Puccini Crisantemi. Three Minuets R Strauss String Quartet, Op 2 Verdi String Quartet Enso Quartet Naxos [B] 8 573108 (66' * DDD)

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You will not need reminding by now that the Strauss and Verdi quartets, a familiar record-company coupling, are the only works for the medium by two composers of predominantly vocal music. Written within seven years of each other, they differ in that the Strauss is a prentice piece in no way anticipating masterworks to come, the Verdi audibly the work of the mature master heard midway between Aida and Otello.

There is another link, however, in the evident admiration of both composers for the 'Classical' Viennese masters of the genre. The Strauss has some clearly deliberate homage to the Beethoven Op 18 Quartets, the Verdi to Beethoven's final work for the medium but also, perhaps characteristically, to the anarchic earthy side of Haydn--the dynamic surprises in the Andantino or the whole idea of a fugal finale. …

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