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Schubert : Quintette D. 956 - Schoenberg : La Nuit Transfigurée

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Détails sur le produit

  • Compositeur: Arnold Schoenberg, Franz Schubert
  • CD (4 décembre 2015)
  • Nombre de disques: 1
  • Label: Testament
  • ASIN : B000003XID
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 80.101 en Musique (Voir les 100 premiers en Musique)
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Liste des titres

Disque : 1

  1. Sehr Langsam (Stanza 1)
  2. Etwas Bewegter (Stanza 2)
  3. Schwer Betont (Stanza 3)
  4. Sehr Breit Und Langsam (Stanza 4)
  5. Sehr Ruhig (Stanza 5)
  6. Allegro Ma Non Troppo
  7. Adagio
  8. Scherzo (Presto) & Trio (Andante Sostenuto)
  9. Allegretto

Descriptions du produit

SCHUBERT : QUINTETTE D. 956 - SCHOENBERG : LA NUIT TRANSFIGURÉE

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Par Mélomaniac 1ER COMMENTATEUR DU HALL D'HONNEURTOP 50 COMMENTATEURS le 12 novembre 2007
Le Hollywood String Quartet demeure un des plus illustre quatuor dont les Etats Unis purent s'enorgueillir.
Son nom vient de ce que ses membres étaient premiers pupitres dans les orchestres attachés aux grandes compagnies cinématographiques de la Côte Ouest, et gravèrent la plupart de leur disques dans cette mythique cité du Septième art.

Hormis la bande-son de films, leur répertoire classique incluait notamment la musique moderne, qu'ils abordaient en sollicitant les avis des compositeurs afin d'en servir fidèlement les intentions.
Le passionnant livret du CD détaille les circonstances extraordinaires de leur rencontre avec Arnold Schoenberg à Los Angeles, dans la résidence même du compositeur qui avait répondu à leur souhait de venir lui jouer son Sextuor "La Nuit Transfigurée" afin d'en recueillir des conseils d'exécution.
La séance se conclut par « ... c'était bien, très bien », et se suivit par l'envoi d'une photo dédicacée qui les remerciait de leur interprétation « d'une subtile beauté ».

Le livret reproduit le commentaire que rédigea Schoenberg pour accompagner la parution originale du disque en 1950, sous étiquette Capitol.
Le texte original du poème de Richard Dehmel, qui inspira la musique de cette "Verklärte Nacht", est donné page 10 dans sa version allemande et sa traduction anglaise.
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9420ecc0) étoiles sur 5 9 commentaires
33 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x94260888) étoiles sur 5 One of the two best recordings of Schubert's greatest opus 8 mars 1999
Par smarmer - Publié sur Amazon.com
George Steiner is said to have called the Schubert quintet proof of the existence of God. While I'm not sure I would go that far, it is certainly one of the greatest pieces of chamber music ever written. In judging recordings, I strongly favor interpretation over sound. Thus the two performances of this great piece which I favor most strongly are this magnificent one by the Hollywood String Quartet and another outstanding one by Casals et al on Sony, originally recorded at Prades in 1952. These two recordings represent the fruits of a golden age of chamber music whose depth and sweetness is hard to find today. For any listener who prefers performance and interpretation and is willing to accept a mono recording from the 50's, I assure you there will be rewards in either of these CD's. By the way, the Schoenberg is also excellent.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9426db1c) étoiles sur 5 These two recordings are too outstanding to limit their circulation and appreciation to fans of historical recordings only 16 mai 2012
Par Discophage - Publié sur Amazon.com
These two recordings are history.

Taped in January 1951, the Hollywood Quartet's version of Schubert C-Major Quintet was one of the composition's very first recordings. If my records are right, its only precedessors had been versions from the 78s era, three British recordings (the Cobbett Quartet in 1925 for the National Gramophonic Society, downoadable from Pristine Classical; the London String Quartet in 1928 for British Columbia, also reissued by Pristine, or downloadable free from CHARM, the research centre on the History and Analysis of Recorded Music, and the Pro Arte Quartet in 1935, reissued by Biddulph, The Pro Arte Quartet play Schubert: Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in C major, D. 956 / Brahms: String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 18) followed by an American one, made for Columbia, by the Budapest Quartet augmented of Benar Heifetz in 1941 (Schubert: Piano Quintet, Op. 114, D. 667 ("The Trout"); String Quintet, Op. Post. 163, D. 956 (Recorded 8 May 1950, Washington [Trout] and 16 September 1941, New York [String Quintet]) - they re-recorded it in 1962). It isn't entirely clear when Westminster recorded the Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet, in 1950 or 1951 (Quintet In C); the first review I saw of it was in a French magazine from February 1952, and the Hollywood Quartet's LP (originally on Capitol) was reviewed in the January 1952 issue of The Gramophone. So, notwithstanding the reissue of the Budapest Quartet's recording on LP (Columbia ML-4437), it was the first or second recording of Schubert's C-Major Quintet in the LP era.

It was and it remains an oustanding version - perhaps even more today than back then, because the interpretive models in Schubert's Quintet have in fact moved away from the style featured by the ensemble, and more in the more spacious direction anticipated by the Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet. It is characterized by an urgency of pacing in the outer movements that I can't call "unique", because the same features distinguished the recordings of the Budapest Quartet and, in the first movement (but a touch less), of the old Pro Arte Quartet as well as of the Prades ensemble gathered around Casals a year after this one (Schubert: Quintet Op. 163, D.956 [Germany]), but such an urgency of approach has been rarely encoutered since: other than Heifetz and friends in 1961, who pushed it (in all four movements) to a point of caricature (Quintet in C), even among the subsequent urgent versions (Weller and Hungarian Quartets in 1970, Grumiaux ensemble in 1979, Orpheus Quartet in 1994 - product links in the comments section), only the Kagan ensemble live in 1989 and Archibudelli in 1990 have been more urgent than both the Hollywood Quartet and the Budapest Quartet - in the first movement, but the Finale. It is open to question whether such a drive there entirely conforms to Schubert's "Allegretto" indication - but what great drive and excitement, making all the more lingering approaches seem somewhat fussy.

It is in fact remarkable how close the readings of the Hollywood and Budapest quartets are, at least in three movements out of four. The Hollywood Quartet's tone and expression is more suave, the Budapest's is more gruff, Hollywood's first violin Felix Slatkin is thinner-toned (but with a sensuous and sinuous expressivity in the long lyrical lines of the first movement that has rarely if ever been emulated), and the Budapest four are more beefy; they are also more muscular and biting in the first movement's staccato passages (the first one at respectively 4:23 and 4:22), the Hollywoods crisp but dryer. But these are differences of detail and nuance, in the face of a common tautness of phrasings and an almost breathless urgency of pacing (but never like Heifetz giving the impression of being rushed) that doesn't preclude great charm and lyricism in the more lyrical passages of the first movement (there the Budapests are inclined to relax slightly more, the Hollywoods keep it urgent with the lyricism conveyed by Slatkin's uniquely sensuous phrasings) and finale. Remarkably, the timings in those movements are strikingly close, to the second even in the finale.

Where both versions diverge considerably is in their slow movements - and I am referring here to the Adagio of course, but also to the middle trio of the Scherzo. Compared to modern fare, the Hollywoods kept a flowing pace in the outer sections of Adagio - not as brisk as the pre-war Cobbett, London or Pro Arte Quartets, but still a true 12/8 with the gentle swaying of the ternary rhythm rather than a quasi 12/4 with each eighth-note given the same stress. Just compare the 4:20 it takes them to reach the fast section, to the still brisk 4:30 of Casals (both in the version referred to above from 1952 with Isaac Stern, Paul Tortelier and other luminaries, and in 1961 with the Vegh Quartet, Quintet in C / Cello Sonata), and the 5:37 of the Amadeus Quartet in 1965 (a version long hailed as the reference, Schubert: String Quintet in C Major, D 956 (Op. post 163) / Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K.546) and the 5:54 of the Melos Quartet with Rostropovich in 1977 (Schubert: String Quintet In C Major, D. 956) - most modern versions, from the mid-1970s onwards, take it in more than 5:00. The Budapest Quartet on the other hand announced the modern approach, with a much more held-back pacing, reaching the central section in 5:10 - and they kept consistent in that central section, which was vehement, but not fast. In the trio of the Scherzo it was the other way around. Both ensembles had offered a Scherzo that was not so much swift as Schubert's "Presto" indication would seem to imply, as one that substituted beefy vigor to sheer drive (and that remained the dominant interpretive tradition here), but the Budapest kept the trio flowing and big-toned, almost recitative-like. The Hollywoods here are beautifully hushed, held-back and introspective (as the Pro Arte Quartet had been before them).

Although not a recording premiere (that had been done by the Spencer Dyke Quartet for the British National Gramophonic Society in 1925, a very competent version, if showing its age stylistically, reissued by Pristine Classical in oustandingly good sound given the vintage, available on download only from their website), the Hollywood Quartet's Schoenberg Transfigured Night from August 1950 has even greater historical significance and importance, and here the liner notes of Tully Potter, obviously based on interviews with the surviving members in 1993 (cellist Eleonor Aller and second violin Paul Shure), deserve to be quoted.

"The group's request for the composer to write a sleeve note left them in for an ordeal. "To get Schoenberg to do the liner notes, we had to go and play the Sextet for him", Mrs Slatkin remembered. "He insisted that we should c ome to his house. Kurt Reher, who had performed in a trio for him, warned us that he was a very diffcult man, a stickler for everything being right and never letting two bars go past without crticising something. However, we had no choice but to face him and play. It was a beasttly day, about 104 degrees, and the house was completely sealed - every window closed, no air conditioning, Schoenberg walked in, bundled up in a scarf and a coat, sat at a table and looked at us witgh those piercing green eyes of his. We had played only a few bars when he stopped us by knocking on the table ansd started to criticise. My husband asked if we could play the work through first, and then if Schoenberg had any criticism, he could tell us afterwards. So we played it - and by the end there were literally six pools of perspiration on the floor. Schoeenberg didn't say anything at first - he just looked at us and then he said: "it was good, very good... in fact I have nothing to say". Then Mrs Schoenberg brought in a tray of bourbon and doughnuts! Schoenberg said: "You will have your liner notes in the post on Monday morning." It was the only time he ever wrote notes for a record". He also wanted to play second cello with them in a chamber music get-together (an invitation they had still not managed to take up when he died in July 1951), and he sent them a photo inscribed: "To the Hollywood String Quartet for playing my Verklärte Nacht with such subtle beauty".

Yes Arnold you had better have nothing to criticise. This is a great version, masterfully managing the contrasts and transitions between the tender moods, the languidly swooning atmospheres, and the vehement, urgent and dramatic moments. It has been bettered sonically of course (but the 1950 mono still sounds great) but not interpretively.

Oustanding liner notes, including the poem of Richard Dehmel on which Schoenberg's composition is based, with an accurate English translation by Lionel Salter, and the famous sleeve notes of Schoenberg. The sound is mono of course but the transfers are great (from the Capitol tapes licensed from EMI, not LP's). These two recordings are too outstanding to limit their circulation and appreciation to fans of historical recordings only.

See also my chronological and critical comparative discography of the recordings from the pre-digital era:

http://www.amazon.com/lm/R13O1L8LN17ZY2

and

http://www.amazon.com/lm/R1HNCOIJ3ZSBH1
15 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9426db94) étoiles sur 5 Vigorous Schubert 25 octobre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is an enthusiastic and vigorously played version. The Hollywood players obviously lived with this piece for some time before recording it--they capture all the nuances of Schubert's writing. The Schubert is complemented with a superb Verklaerte Nacht for which Schoenberg himself was moved to write the liner notes after hearing the Hollywood's performance. The recorded sound is no better than good--a little thin, but it captures the quartet's enthusiasm.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9426db28) étoiles sur 5 A Revelation 22 octobre 2009
Par Bruce K. Ackley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
After 40 years of listening to numerous versions of both the string orchestra and string sextet versions of this extraordinary piece, I'm hearing it for the first time. This is gorgeous playing which makes all the difference in making the music come alive. I love reading the notes too! Wonderful sounds!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9426de7c) étoiles sur 5 Great playing is ageless 16 mars 2011
Par BPL - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
The first thing that struck me about this recording is the impeccable ensemble that this legendary group achieved. I had not even heard of them until I read about this recording of the Schubert C major quintet in "1001 Recordings You must Hear Before You Die". Since then, their name has popped up time and again, and with good reason. The unanimity of vibrato, the beauty of their tone, the elegance of their playing, and the the depth of their musicianship is remarkable. I know I shall look into their other recordings! Both works are beautiful and beautifully performed. I have no problem with the sound, it is good, solid mono. Actually, the dry acoustic helps reveal how gorgeous their sound really is; there is no reverb to mask minor imperfections.
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