Felix Mendelssohn, 1838.
String Quartet No. 5, Op. 44, No. 3 - II - Scherzo: Assai leggiero vivace .

Felix Mendelssohn, one of the most popular compsers of the romantic period straddles the line between tradition and innovation. At times romantic and full of emotion and at other times classical and structured, Mendellsohn has experienced a modern revival follow the banning of his works by the Nazis over 50 years ago.

Despite only living into his late 30's, Mendelssohn has a rather extensive catalog due in part to his early start. A young piano virtuoso, Mendelssohn completed the composition of his first full symphony at the age of 15. Many critics of Mendelssohn will try to argue that their is a lack of "maturity" over the couse of his catalog. This critique seems unfair given the inevidable comparison to Mozart, who was also a child prodigy but was much more prolific with over 600 works to his credit. Never the less Mendelssohn ranks right up there with the greats.

String Quartet No. 5, Op. 44, No. 3 is a part of what many believe to be among the greatest String Quartet sets of all time. Some will argue that No. 3 is slightly inferior to its accompanying Quartets (String Quartet No. 13, Opus 44, No. 1 and String Quartet No. 4, Opus 44, No. 2) but I believe it to be their equal. The second movement which is featured here evokes the rush of horses galloping through the country side. The rhythmic pulse and counterpuntal refrains give the sense of multiple horses plodding along each at their own stride yet equal in mission. Sir William Nicholson's Coaching conveys that feeling in much the same way.

Selected recordings recommended for purchasing:
Emerson String Quartet version (all of Mendelssohn's Quartets, won 2 Grammy Awards) available here.
Henschel Quartet version (also includes String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13) available here.

Artwork by: Sir William Nicholson // Coaching


Blogger callmemickey said...

sorry about the link not working earlier. i hada brain freeze and forgot to put up the link.

March 21, 2007 at 1:34 PM  
Anonymous matt said...

Hmmmm, still not working. Unless of course I'm a moron, which is entirely possible :).

March 21, 2007 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous matt said...

woohoo! Turns out I am a moron. Sorry bout that.

March 21, 2007 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger callmemickey said...

its all good. we all have our moments from time to time!

March 22, 2007 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Would recommend listening to Emerson Quartet's version of Mendelssohn's greatest sets! Tony

September 9, 2007 at 2:46 PM  

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