Magazine article Gramophone

Berg: Mendelssohn: Berg Lyric Suite

Magazine article Gramophone

Berg: Mendelssohn: Berg Lyric Suite

Article excerpt

Berg * Mendelssohn (G)

Berg Lyric Suite

Mendelssohn String Quartet No 2, Op 13

Tetzlaff Quartet

AVI-Music (F) AVI8553266 (58' * DDD)

The Tetzlaff Quartet is unusual in consisting of four busy soloists who get together only intermittently. The upside is that what they do has the tension and imagination of four big personalities, and that certainly pays off here.

Their combined sound is highly refined and honed, resulting in a tautness of approach that gives Mendelssohn's A minor Quartet real potency and drive. Even in the most driven passages, textures always have a sparkling clarity. Just dip into the first movement (beginning at 2'30"), where viola player Hanna Weinmeister takes over the melody with eloquence. The Elias are more refulgent in tone, generally more open-hearted in the touching Adagio non lento, but the TetzlafPs greater austerity is also very moving. And their finale is particularly searing, bringing out the contrast between the melodramatic tremolos and the leader's impassioned recitatives, the light-as-air passages of the upper three players and the pungent pizzicatos of the cellist. …

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