Decca - 1 LP - LXT 2854 - (p) 03/1954
London - 1 LP - LL 668 - (p) 06/1954
Urania - 2 CDs - URN 22.278 - (p) 2005

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

String Quartet No. 13 in A minor "Rosamunde", Opus 29 (D 804)
34' 32"
- Allegro ma non troppo
11' 09"

- Andante
8' 45"

- Minuetto (Allegretto) - Trio 7' 16"

- Allegro moderato
7' 22"

- Paolo Borciani, Elisa Pegreffi, violino
- Piero Farulli, viola
- Franco Rossi, violoncello


Luogo e data di registrazione
Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 20-30 luglio 1952

Registrazione: live / studio

Producer / Engineer
John Culshaw, Victor Olof | Gil Went

Matrici 78rpm
Decca - IAR 581-88

Prima Edizione LP
Decca - LXT 2854 - (1 LP) - (p) 03/1954 - Mono
London - LL 668 - (1 LP) - (p) 06/1954 - Mono

Prima Edizione CD
Urania - URN 22.278 - [2 CDs - (1, 5-8)] - (p) 2005 - ADD

I riferimenti a date e codici sono stati desunti dal libro "Decca Classical, 1929-2009" di Philip Stuart.

"All that I heve created is born of my undestanding and my own sorrow".
Schubert wrote these words in his diary in March, 1824 and they can serve as a motto for the A minor Quartet finished earlier the same month. The work was fint played on March 14th, and was dedicated to the first violin of the quartet which performed it, Schubert's friend, Ignaz Schuppanzigh.
Two contemporary criticiens have survived. One says, "This composition must be beard several times before it can be adequately judged", and the other, "Quartet No. 1 by Schubert: not to be despired as a first-born". In fact, so far from being his first, the A minor was Schubert's thirteenth string quartet (only the D minor, "Death and the Maiden", and the G major, Op. 161, follow it), and it was the only one to be published in his lifetime.
First Movement: Allegro ma non troppo
The opening movement begins quietly with accompaniment and then tune. In retrospect the whole movement seems concerned with the development of this opening, so it is worth while looking at it in some detail. "Cello and viola hold a long note for three bears and four short repeated notes on the fourth beat. Above this the second violin has a flowing accompaniment figure in  quavers which recalls Schubert's Gretchen am Spinnrade. after two bars the first violin enters with a phrase identical in key and notes with the opening phrase of Verdi's Requiem. But this phrase is only the beginning of Schubert's tune, a long one of extraordinary tenderness and beauty, even for him. By its longh we know that we are combaking on a movement of considerable proportions. As usual with Schubert the process of development begins long before the stage of formal development in the technical sense of sonata form. The opening three-note phrase, for example, acquires a trill on the second note, triplett set in before the second theme is reached, and the latter is less of a new theme than a spiritual brother of the first. After the double bar with its easily recognised cadence, the development proper begins in D minor, complete with all the elements heard before. This time the opening tune becomes darker in colour and more troubled: there is a dialogue between violin and 'cello leading up to a climax and a bar's silence. The silence only brings more tension, quieter tension, for the Gretchen element has gone, leaving only the repeated notes and the tune. This rhythm persists until recapitulation is reached, arrived at by a marvellous process of harmonic changes. But when the return comes the theme scenes all the more beautiful because of what has gone before. After so long an abscence, for instance, of the flowing accompanying quavers of the second violin, their re-entry is especially poignant. The coda brings a final masterstroke, concerned with the bass of the harmony this time. So far the latter has always moved in accordance with the tune above, but this time it moves only from A as far as E where it says resolutely, refusing to be dislodged. This brings the music to a final climax.
Second Movement: Andante
After the heart-searching qualities of the first movement the andante is a soothing contrast. There is passion at the climax but for the most part the music is a consolation. It is almost entirely based on the familiar melody from Rosamunde.
Third Movement: Minuet (Allegretto) and Trio
Unrest and apprehension are immediately felt, for this is no formal dance. As in the andante the opening phrase is a self-quotation - fron a settinf of a poem by Schiller which Schubert wrote in 1819. The opening words of this song give the choc to the music: "Schne Welt, wo bist du?" (Beautiful world, where art thou?). The trio offers contrast and consolation, going into the major for this purpose.
Fourth Movement: Allegro moderato
Just as the dance title of the Third Movement has led some mistake its serious despairing mood, so the rhythmes, of this finale have led sone to criticize it as too "popular" or too "Viennese". But Schubert's use of popular idiom and rhythm is as far from banality as Mozart's use of the conventional formulae of his day. Schubert's mastery is everywhere noticeable and the tension of the many pianissimos betrays the underlying mood. As in the finale of the C major Quintet, Op. 163, Schubert returns us gently to earth after our heavenly visitation: not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with rhythms which are as homely and natural to us as if we were living in 1824

LXT 2854