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What are you currently listening to?

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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 76919 times)
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« Reply #3495 on: May 17, 2022, 03:11:35 pm »

Joachim Raff: String Quartet No 1 and No 7 "Die schöne Müllerin"   Quartetto di Milano      Tudor

Lovely! :) Much as I enjoy his symphonies (and some other orchestral works) I think if Raff's music really was to,somehow,get back into the concert halls,I think it would be via his chamber music,which is where he really excels. And how could I resist a programatic,string quartet? (Just don't click on the "Buy" button,man!! ::) ;D). Subtitled ‘Die schöne Müllerin’,the movement's have titles ('The young man',The maid of the mill',The prenuptial party,etc). It's all very romantic and lyrical,gently wafting out of the wireless headphone ear pieces! Away dull care! ;D No surprise then,that this was the most popular of Raff's string quartet's.  According to Michael Cookson at Musicweb,"The score is overflowing with refinement and charm but rather wanting in ardour and adventure...." Well,even Raff at his best is no Schubert! But Cookson goes on to add"....a viewpoint that was also often levelled at Mendelssohn’s scores". Eschewing traditional sonata form,Raff described it as a "cyclical tone poem". The String Quartet No 1 is every bit as enjoyable & arguably even finer. The four movement score has a nocturnal atmosphere achieved by beautifully arranged instrumentation and romantic expression" (Michael Cookson,Musicweb). According to Jonathan Woolf (also at Musicweb) "The earlier work is the more questing and finely conceived, it must be noted. The Raff of 1874 was perhaps a little too inclined to spin generous pastoral evocations". I find it astonishing that such lovely music should have suffered such grievous neglect! Albeit,knowing how much fine,or at the very least,intriguing music has fallen victim to the vagaries of fashion,I'm unsurprised. Great cover art by Arnold Böcklin,as usual,for this series. The recording and playing,need I say,is,as per usual from this label,top-notch! :)

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