QUARTETTO ITALIANO


Decca - 1 LP - LXT 2855 - (p) 03/1954
London - 1 LP - LL 669 - (p) 06/1954
Urania - 2 CDs - URN 22.278 - (p) 2005

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)






String Quartet No. 8 in B flat major, Opus 168 (D 112)
31' 56"
- Allegro ma non troppo
11' 33"

- Andante sostenuto
9' 32"

- Minuetto (Allegretto) - Trio 6' 01"

- Presto
4' 50"





 
THE NEW ITALIAN QUARTET
- 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
studio

Producer / Engineer
John Culshaw, Victor Olof | Gil Went


Matrici 78rpm
Decca - IAR 589-96


Prima Edizione LP
Decca - LXT 2855 - (1 LP) - (p) 03/1954 - Mono
London - LL 669 - (1 LP) - (p) 06/1954 - Mono


Prima Edizione CD
Urania - URN 22.278 - [2 CDs - (1, 1-4)] - (p) 2005 - ADD


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













Franz Schubert, the son of a school teacher and the twelfth child is a family of thirteen, was born near Vienna in January, 1797. As a child he displayed an extraordinary musical spiritude. Long before the age of ten he was a capable performer on the piano and violin, and had a fine enough voice to win himself a scholarship to the Imperial Chapel where, in return for his musical work, he received a general education and board. The environment was far from ideal but the tuition was better than anything his parents could have afforded, and Schubert survived the material hardships for five years-theough not without an occasional bitter complaint about the dismal surroundings and the inadeguate food.
There was, however, plenty of spiritual sustenance, and it was through his work with the school that Schubert first gained practical knowledge of the works of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. He had already been composing for two years when a performance of Mozart's G minor Symphony revealed to him hitherto unimagined emotional powers in music; within a  year of that performance he had written his own first Symphony.
He left the Imperial Chapel in 1813 and took a post in his father's school. It was at this time that he discovered the world of opera, and it is characterictic that non sooner had he heard a series of performances than he embarked on a three-act opera of his own. But it was already clear that the song appealed to him more than the larger vocal forms, and between 1814 and 1817 he wrote many of those masterly settings which have never been surpassed Among them was Gretchen am Spinnrade; and among the few non-vocal works of the period was his String Quartet in B flat. this work was written in 1814, when Schubert was seventeen, but the first performance of which we have definite record did not take place until 1862 at the Musikvereinssaal, Vienna - some thirty-four years after the composer's death.
It has been said that Schubert never felt completely at ease when composing within the bounds of symphonic form, but this is a proposition difficult to maintain against the evidence of later works like the C major Symphony or the String Quartet. The early B flat Quartet does, however, show tendencies of repetition and variation which some critics have found unsatisfactory. But in so youthful a work, are not these weaknesses vitiated by the undeniable verve and enthusiasm dischernible in every bar of the Quartet? On paper, the finale appears a little weak; but in performance it comes to life with an enchanting freshness.
The first movement, allegro ma non troppo, opens with a lyrical theme played by the first violin. Its second statement is shared by the 'cello and both violins, the viola providing an accompaniment figure. But it is the second theme that dominates the movement: its persistent, restless triplet figure pervades not only the remainder of the exposition but generates most of the subsequent development. The latter is a short section of some fifty bars which leads fluently to the recapitulation. The brief coda again stresses the triplet theme.
The slow movement, andante sostenuto, is self-explanatory. It is here that Schubert the song writer comes into his own, as the simple phrases which open the movement gradually expand into the long melodies for which the composer is famous. In this movement it is again the viola that provides most of the rich accompaniment to the flights of the violins. The third movement is an orthodox minuet and trio, but the finale, presto, is unusual in that it is virtually monothematic. There is, it is true, a "second subject", but it is so similar to the first that the initial mood remains undisturbed. The movement opens with a theme played by the second violin, viola and 'cello, whose phrases are decorated by a simple staccato figure played by the first violin. As the movement proceeds this innocent and sommingly un-important figure assumes greater importance and becomes in effect the second subject; by this time it has passed from the first violin and is being shared by the other instruments. This figure dominates the finale just as the triples phrase dominated the first movement, and a semple re-statement of the opening themes brings the work to a close. This is not music for those who insist on profundity, for its virtue lies in uts utter simplicity: it is a youthful work, and unmistakably it conveys the freshness of youth
.

LXT 2855
(rectus)