Sofia Gubaidulina, composer

Sofia Gubaidulina, composer
Sofia Gubaidulina

Friday, January 29, 2016

Franz Schubert: String Quartet No.14 in D minor "Death and the Maiden" – Meridian Ensemble String Quartet (HD 1080p)

Το Κουαρτέτο Εγχόρδων αρ. 14 σε Ρε ελάσσονα, του Φραντς Σούμπερτ – γνωστό ως «Ο Θάνατος και η Κόρη» ("Der Tod und das Mädchen"), επειδή το Αντάντε του δεύτερου μέρους αποτελεί διασκευή του ομώνυμου λιντ του μεγάλου Αυστριακού συνθέτη του πρώιμου Ρομαντισμού –, θεωρείται ένα από τα κορυφαία δείγματα της μουσικής δωματίου.

Το Κουαρτέτο γράφτηκε τον Μάρτιο του 1824, λίγο  καιρό αφότου ο Σούμπερτ έμαθε ότι πάσχει από σύφιλη και η υγεία του άρχισε να χειροτερεύει. Η πρεμιέρα του έργου δόθηκε στις 29 Ιανουαρίου 1826 στη Βιένη, στην οικία των Καρλ και Φραντς Χάκερ, που ήταν ερασιτέχνες βιολονίστες. Σε αυτήν την πρώτη παρουσίαση του έργου, πιθανώς να συμμετείχε στο κουαρτέτο και ο ίδιος ο Σούμπερτ, παίζοντας βιόλα.

Το Κουαρτέτο Εγχόρδων αρ. 14 σε Ρε ελάσσονα, του Φραντς Σούμπερτ, ερμηνεύει το αμερικανικό Κουαρτέτο Meridian.

As morbid as it may seem today, preoccupation with death was quite fashionable in the nineteenth century. The Romantic movement in music, drama, art, and literature embraced the idea of death as transcendent and fulfilling rather than fearsome. Medical science was still in its infancy, and the only real cure for many illnesses was the end of life. Death was gentle. Death was peace. Death was an end to suffering.

In this light, Franz Schubert's own fascination with death was neither unusual nor inexplicable. In March 1824, having endured the symptoms of syphilis for nearly two years, he wrote, "Each night when I go to sleep, I hope never to wake again, and each morning serves only to recall the misery of the previous day".

Since the still-youthful composer was not yet consigned to the grave, he continued to develop his musical genius, and in this same month he completed the original version of the String Quartet in D minor, "Der Tod und das Mädchen" (Death and the Maiden). Based on the opening theme from his song of the same name (1817), this quartet clearly illustrates Schubert's sympathy, even longing, for death. By appropriating the music of the song, Schubert also imbues the quartet with the sentiments of the original text, in which Death urges a frightened maiden to trust him: he means her no harm, and she will sleep soundly in his arms.

This work is significant for several reasons. It is considered one of Schubert's finest chamber works, and it has always occupied a favored spot in the string quartet repertory. Its frankly programmatic content connects it with later nineteenth century works, in which structural concerns yielded to extramusical and dramatic influences. Finally, the quartet is a striking reminder to those who like to pigeonhole Schubert as a miniaturist or as a "song composer": it stands alongside the "Unfinished" Symphony and the Wanderer-Fantasie as a testament to his sense of large-scale organization and to the promise unfulfilled as a result of his early death.

Source: Rovi Staff (

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

♪ String Quartet No.14 in D minor "Death and the Maiden", D.810 (1824)

i. Allegro
ii. Andante con moto
iii. Scherzo Allegro molto
iv. Presto

Meridian Ensemble String Quartet:
Dominika Dancewicz, violin I
Johnny Chang, violin II
Whitney Bullock, viola
Olive Chen, cello


(HD 1080p)

See also

Franz Schubert: String Quartet No.14 in D minor "Death and the Maiden" – Quatuor Ébène (HD 1080p)

Franz Schubert: Winterreise – Ian Bostridge, Julius Drake

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