Beethoven, Bruckner, Hartmann & Holliger
This double album begins with Beethoven's highly-concentrated opus 135, and concludes with the "explosions of fantasy" of Holliger's quartet, recorded on CD for the first time. Bruckner's rarely-heard C minor Quartet is, as Thomas Zehetmair notes, both touching and warm-hearted. These three pieces - the Beethoven, Bruckner and Holliger quartets - were recorded in Zurich 2010.
The String Quartet No. 2 by Karl Amadeus Hartmann - "a large-scale nostalgic drama, full of wisdom" - was recorded in 2002 by an earlier quartet line-up, and this interpretation is previously unreleased. It was the last of the Zehetmair Quartet recordings to feature cellist and founding member Françoise Groben (1965-2011). "Her energy and creativity were crucial to our development an early successes. This new production is dedicated to her memory."
The Zehetmair Quartet was founded in 1994 but did not make its first concert tour until 1998. The Quartet's first recording - a pairing of Bartók Fourth Quartet and Hartmann's String Quartet No 1 - was released by ECM in 2000 and won the quarterly German Record Critics' Prize. Their celebrated 2004 album of Schumann's String Quartets Nos. 1 and 3 was named Gramophone's Record of the Year and won several other awards including the Diapason d'Or and the Edison Classical Music Award (Netherlands). A 2007 ECM release coupled quartets by Bartók and Paul Hindemith.
Personnel: Thomas Zehetmair, Kuba Jakowicz, Matthias Metzger (violin), Ruth Killius (viola), Ursula Smith, Françoise Groben (cello)
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Streichquartett Nr. 16, op. 135, I. Allegretto
- II. Vivace
- III. Assai lento, cantante e tranquillo
- IV. Der schwer gefasste Entschluss. Muss es sein? Es muss sein. Grave, ma non troppo tratto - Allegro
- Anton Bruckner: Streichquartett c-Moll, WAB 111, I. Allegro moderato
- II. Andante
- III. Scherzo: Presto - Trio
- IV. Rondo: Schnell
- Karl Amadeus Hartmann: Streichquartett Nr. 2, I. Langsam - Ausserst lebhaft und sehr energisch
- II. Andantino (Sehr ausdrucksvoll)
- III. Presto
- Heinz Holliger: Streichquartett Nr. 2 (2007), I. Molto energico, impetuoso, II. Moderato, III. Adagio, IV. Flimmernd, V. Heterophonien, VI. 12-stimmiger Epilog in 3 Teilen