Fitzwilliam String Quartet - Schubert: Late String Quartets - Musikansich

Wohl selten hat man das Stück so kompromisslos zu hören bekommen, mit teils durchaus harschen Klangeffekten und bei glasklarer Akustik unter Verzicht auf jedes Vibrato. Und auch, wenn der Violinklang auf diese Weise schon einmal schneidet, geht ihm jede enervierende Schärfe ab. Sogar in dem ausladenden Kopfsatz mit seiner mehr als 20minütigen Dauer gelingt es dem Ensemble, die Spannung jederzeit aufrecht zu erhalten und die komplexe Struktur nachvollziehbar aufscheinen zu lassen. Nicht zuletzt dank quellenkritischer Auseinandersetzung wirkt dabei vieles noch einmal aufregend neu und doch jederzeit überzeugend.

In his late string quartets we encounter Schubert with a musical breadth and boldness that at times seems to leave behind not only the Viennese classics but even the romantic, and open the door to the modern. Coziness and melodic sweetness are over; even with such an astonishingly optimistic and vital work like the G major quartet, it's all about the whole thing. It seems a traditional formation like the one represented by the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, which has existed for 50 years, and the use of old / historical instruments, are particularly suited to bring out this modernity. Seldom has the piece been heard so uncompromisingly, with sometimes harsh sound effects and crystal-clear acoustics without any vibrato. And even if the violin sound cuts through in this way, there is never any disturbing sharpness. Even in the sweeping first movement, which lasts more than 20 minutes, the ensemble manages to maintain the tension at all times and to make the complex structure shine through. Not least thanks to a critical analysis of the sources, many things appear excitingly new and yet convincing at all times. The quartet movement in C minor, in which the associated Andante fragment has survived and which Brian Newbould carefully and intelligently brought it to the stage where it was ready for performance, appears to us as the “more typical” Schubert. It is made no less brilliant by the Fitzwilliams.

02 November 2021