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Mendelssohn, Felix / String Quartets, Op. 44, Nos. 1 And 2 (Cecilia String Quartet)
Album:String Quartets, Op. 44, Nos. 1 And 2 (Cecilia String Quartet) Collection:Classical
Artist:Mendelssohn, Felix Added:11/2016

A-File Activity
Add Date:2016-11-23 Pull Date:2017-01-22 Charts:Classical/Experimental
Week Ending:4 Dec

 Recent Airplay
1.Dec 02, 2016:Moonlight Impressions
Iii. Andante (5:46)

Album Review
Gary Lemco
Reviewed 2016-11-19 
Mendelssohn (1809-1847) wrote the Op. 44 quartets in 1837-38 while on his honeymoon in the Black Forest, having married Cecile Jeanrenaud. He admired Mozart as his model of creativity, and the opening of the D Major Quartet enjoys Mozart-like exuberance and confidence. The 1st mvmt is in sonata-allegro form but contains many themes, including rocket figures, a sweet viola theme, a chorale, mad dashes in chromatic colors, and 8th note rolling figures. The “whispering” Menuetto has rococo ornamentation and balanced phrases. The Trio, in the minor key, projects fairy images from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Andante espressivo communicates sadness, even anguish. The violin and viola compete for a melody with heartfelt pain. The last mvmt Presto con brio is a saltarello, the same kind of dance as in his “Italian” Symphony. The music is in whirling, high spirits, and the final Coda has a “symphonic” feeling of trumpets and drums.

The Quartet in E Minor was the first Op. 44 quartet written. The 1st mvmt is agitated, syncopated and melancholy. Some of the arpeggio effects resemble the last mvmt of Mozart’s 40th Symphony. The Scherzo in E Major is nimble and excited. It has no contrasting Trio section, only a brief episode in C-sharp Minor that sounds like a folk tune. The Andante starts over a long tonic pedal point and shimmering figures in the second violin. The first violin holds the tune except for a moment high in the cello, but all the harmonies are eminently romantic. The music, despite its passion, is not sentimental. The final mvmt, Presto agitato, is at once lively and melancholy, E Major versus E Minor. We hear the tremolo figure from the Scherzo, and the music surprisingly moves into the minor key before a long, passionate crescendo from all four instruments concludes this brilliant work.

Track Listing
1.String Quartet In D Major, Op. 44, No. 1, I. Molto Allegro Vivace (9:40) 5.String Quartet In E Minor, Op. 44, No. 2, I. Allegro Assai Appassionato (7:39)
2.Ii. Menuetto: Un Poco Allegretto (5:13) 6.Ii. Scherzo: Allegro Di Molto (3:58)
3.Iii. Andante Espessivo Ma Con Moto (5:22) 7.Iii. Andante (5:46)
4.Iv, Presto Con Brio (7:37) 8.Iv. Presto Agitato (7:10)