Wiener Konzerthaus Quartet ∙ Radio Recordings 1943-1953


The members of the Wiener Konzerthaus Quartet involved in these two performances belonged to the string sections of the Vienna Philharmonic. Their thoughtful, expansive and deeply expressive approach to Schubert was made by an intuitive grasp of Viennese late-classical style, and an uncanny responsiveness not only to the music behind the notes, but also to one another.

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Schubert: String Quartet No 14 in D minor, D 810 “Der Tod und das Mädchen”
Recorded · 16 September 1943 · Vienna · Mozart Saal · Reichssender Wien · Live Recording

Schubert: String Quartet No 8 in B flat major, D 112 (Op posth. 168)
Recorded · 23 February 1953 · Paris · Studio RTF · Radiodiffusion-Télévision Francaise · Radio Studio Recording

Anton Kamper ∙ 1st violin
Karl Maria Titze ∙ 2nd violin
Erich Weis ∙ viola
Franz Kwarda ∙ cello

Article number: MC 4004
UPC barcode: 791154054406
Recording date: 1943 – 1953
Release date: July 2016
Booklet: 8 Pages
Total timing: 67:20
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2016 Meloclassic

April 2017 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Wiener Konzerthaus Quartet plays Schubert
The two broadcast airings here, set down 10 years apart, feature the original line up in performances of two Schubert quartets. Listening to these radio versions, it’s evident that they have these works fully at their fingertips, and have a natural empathy for this music. I was amazed at how modern they sound, their playing devoid of those ‘expressive’ portamentos that were fashionable at the time. Their Death and the Maiden is exceptionally fine. The beginning is intensely dramatic, with the opening gestures making a striking impact. The players invest the music with drama and energy. The slow movement, a theme and variations on a Schubert song which lends its name to the work, is intimate and ravishingly played. There’s profound sadness in the theme, and this melancholy spills over into the variations which follow. The Scherzo provides some rhythmic contrast, with the finale driven and dispatched with scintillating panache. The early and lesser-known String Quartet No. 8 in B flat major provides a suitable contrast. Light hearted and full of youthful exuberance, its slow movement’s ‘Mozartian’ feel is here addressed with elegance and refinement. These well-preserved documents have been ably restored and emerge with warmth and intimacy. Tully Potter’s authoritative annotations make for a fascinating read.
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