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String Quartet No. 1, Op. 16 | Piano Quintet Op. 15

Alma Quartet | Severin von Eckardstein

String Quartet No. 1, Op. 16 | Piano Quintet Op. 15

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917293227
Catnr: CC 72932
Release date: 29 September 2023
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917293227
Catalogue number
CC 72932
Release date
29 September 2023

"The Alma Quartet, along with pianist Severin von Eckardstein, exhibits a wonderful cohesion in this performance. The recording too is excellent, with great tonalities across the board and just enough studio ambience to create a nice soundstage around the performers."

Fanfare Magazine, 01-3-2024
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

This second opus represents a return to Korngold’s roots, an attempt to rediscover the innocence and enormous artistic fertility that characterised the young composer. His first quartet and his piano quintet attest to an unbelievable talent and a visionary spirit rooted in the musical ferment of Vienna at the beginning of the twentieth century. Beyond the fatigue one inevitably feels upon finishing a recording, we are suddenly aware of the distance we have travelled. Korngold’s music has transported us these last few years, but it has transformed us, too. This recording is our catharsis, a balm for the difficult years of Covid. Today, we realize just how lucky we are to be able to give concerts, to create encounters with audiences and to touch people through our recordings.

‘Encounters’ could well be the title of this album. It is not only a musical encounter with Korngold, but a temporal one as well, taking us on a journey from Vienna to Hollywood, through the dark decades of history. It is also an encounter of artistry and friendship with Severin, who has guided us from his piano.
Het nieuwe album ‘String Quartet No. 1, Op. 16 | Piano Quintet Op. 15’ is het tweede en laatste deel van het Alma Quartet met strijkkwartetten van componist Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Zijn muziek heeft het kwartet de afgelopen jaren niet alleen in vervoering gebracht, maar ook getransformeerd. Dit nieuwe album is een terugkeer naar de roots van Korngold en een artistieke ontmoeting met toppianist Severin von Eckardstein met wie het Alma Quartet voor dit album samenwerkte, met een prachtig resultaat.

Het eerste album van Korngolds strijkkwarteten No. 2 & 3 (Challenge Classics - 2021) was een manier voor het Alma Quartet om grenzen te verleggen; om het publiek te bereiken in de hoop mensen te raken in een tijd dat concerten voor een live publiek zeldzaam waren. Met hun nieuwe album keren de vier terug naar Korngolds roots in een poging om de onschuld en enorme artistieke vruchtbaarheid te doorgronden die de jonge componist kenmerkt. Zijn eerste kwartet en zijn pianokwintet getuigen van een ongelooflijk talent en een visionaire geest, geworteld in het bruisende Wenen aan het begin van de twintigste eeuw.

Naast de vermoeidheid van het voltooien van een opname zijn de musici van het Alma Quartet zich plotseling bewust van de afstand die ze samen hebben afgelegd. Deze opname is hun catharsis, een balsem voor de moeilijke jaren van Covid, vinden ze.
‘Encounters’ zou een toepasselijke titel zijn geweest voor dit nieuwe album: het is niet alleen een muzikale ontmoeting met Korngold maar brengt de luisteraar ook terug naar de donkere decennia van de geschiedenis op een reis van Wenen naar Hollywood, waar Korngold een van de grondleggers van de filmmuziek zou worden.

De Amerikaanse componist van Oostenrijkse afkomst Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) was een genie. Algemeen bekend van hollywoodfilmmuziek, maar minder bekend als componist in de wereld van de klassieke muziek. Zijn drie strijkkwartetten zijn zeker meesterwerken en kunnen worden beschouwd als moderne toongedichten doordrenkt met prachtige melancholie en Weense charme. Als wonderkind schreef Korngold enkele van de meest hartverscheurende melodieën die elke luisteraar meer doen verlangen.

Severin von Eckardstein (1978) is een van de toonaangevende Duitse pianisten van zijn generatie met een lange staat van dienst van soloconcerten en concertuitvoeringen op grote podia over de hele wereld.

Het album ‘String Quartet No. 1, Op. 16 | Piano Quintet Op. 15’ is onderdeel van de Nederlandse campagne ‘Aangenaam Klassiek’ 2023.
Dieses zweite Werk ist eine Rückkehr zu Korngolds Wurzeln, ein Versuch, die Unschuld und die enorme künstlerische Fruchtbarkeit, die den jungen Komponisten auszeichneten, wiederzuentdecken. Sein erstes Quartett und sein Klavierquintett zeugen von einer unglaublichen Begabung und einem visionären Geist, der im musikalischen Ferment Wiens zu Beginn des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts wurzelt. Jenseits der Ermüdung, die man unweigerlich am Ende einer Aufnahme verspürt, wird man sich plötzlich der zurückgelegten Strecke bewusst. Diese Aufnahme ist unsere Katharsis, ein Balsam für die schwierigen Jahre des Covid. Heute wissen wir, was für ein Glück wir haben, dass wir Konzerte geben, Begegnungen mit dem Publikum schaffen und die Menschen durch unsere Aufnahmen berühren können.

Begegnungen' könnte auch der Titel dieses Albums sein. Es ist nicht nur eine musikalische Begegnung mit Korngold, sondern auch eine zeitliche, die uns auf eine Reise von Wien nach Hollywood führt, durch die dunklen Jahrzehnte der Geschichte. Es ist auch eine künstlerische und freundschaftliche Begegnung mit Severin, der uns von seinem Klavier aus begleitet hat.

Artist(s)

Severin von Eckardstein (piano)

Severin von Eckardstein, one of the leading German pianists of his generation, has an already lengthy record of solo concerts and concerto performances on major stages around the world. He gave highly acclaimed concerts for example in Berlin, Munich, Milan, Moscow, Madrid, London, Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Budapest, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul, as well as at great music festivals, including Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Aldeburgh / UK, the Gilmore Festival in Michigan / USA, La Roque d’Anthéron / France, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Husum Festival (“Raritäten der Klaviermusik”) and the Miami International Piano Festival. He has performed with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Philippe Herreweghe, Lothar Zagrosek and Marek Janowski, and made important debuts, among others with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Paavo...
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Severin von Eckardstein, one of the leading German pianists of his generation, has an already lengthy record of solo concerts and concerto performances on major stages around the world.

He gave highly acclaimed concerts for example in Berlin, Munich, Milan, Moscow, Madrid, London, Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Budapest, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul, as well as at great music festivals, including Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Aldeburgh / UK, the Gilmore Festival in Michigan / USA, La Roque d’Anthéron / France, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Husum Festival (“Raritäten der Klaviermusik”) and the Miami International Piano Festival.
He has performed with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Philippe Herreweghe, Lothar Zagrosek and Marek Janowski, and made important debuts, among others with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jaap van Zweden and the Hungarian National Philharmony together with Zsolt Hamar. During the worldwide lockdown in November 2020 he debuted with Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev and the Ural Philhamonic in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Von Eckardstein played 8 recitals during the prestigious series “Meesterpianisten” at Concertgebouw Amsterdam. In 2022 he was invited for the 7th time at the Klavier Festival Ruhr, Germany.

The artist won prizes at numerous noteworthy international competitions. In 2003 he has been awarded the first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. In 2002 He received the “European Culture Prize” and the “Echo Classic Prize.”

Von Eckardstein’s education in the musical arts was predominately shaped by his teachers Prof. Barbara Szczepanska, Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and Prof. Klaus Hellwig, University of Arts, Berlin, where he also successfully completed his studies (Konzertexamen). In an additional course of study at the International Piano Academy Lake Como, Italy, he profited from further instruction and inspiration. He has been teaching masterclasses at many places, among others in South Korea, Finland, Belgium and at the University of Arts Berlin.

Chamber music also plays a significant role in his repertoire with performances at festivals such as the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Finland, Delft Chamber Music Festival, Netherlands, and the Risør Chamber Music Festival, Norway, where he appeared with cellist Heinrich Schiff. His current partners are Isang Enders, Sophia Jaffé, Isabelle van Keulen, Igor Levit, to name only a few. In 2015 he founded the chamber concert series “Klangbrücken” at Konzerthaus Berlin together with violinist Franziska Hölscher.

Von Eckardstein‘s comprehensive repertoire spans the baroque period up through music of the 21st century. As such, he has premiered several works of contemporary composers, in particular the American Sidney Corbett. One of his special focuses is late romantic piano music of less known composers, especially Nicolai Medtner.
CD recordings with compositions by Medtner, Scriabin, Wagner, Schubert, Schumann, Debussy and others are highly regarded. His album of Dupont´s cycle “La maison dans les dunes” was awarded with “Diapason d´Or”. His album featuring Schumann´s Kreisleriana and Adolf Jensen was released in March 2023.


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Alma Quartet

Alma Quartet was formed in 2014 and quickly gained reputation as one of the most thrilling ensembles in the Netherlands. Their debut album on Gutman Records: Schulhoff Complete String Quartets has received stellar international praise. The Gramophone claimed “this set shoots straight to the top” and also admired the quartet for being “capable of the most seductive playing”. The album was chosen for the 2017 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik ‘Bestenliste’ and was also featured on several German national radio stations including Deutschlandfunk and SWR2, the latter hailing Alma’s Schulhoff cycle as the “new reference recording”. Alma Quartet: Dutilleux and Glass, released exclusively on vinyl, has equally enjoyed immediate critical praise. Receiving 4-stars across the board from major publications, the quartet is...
more
Alma Quartet was formed in 2014 and quickly gained reputation as one of the most thrilling ensembles in the Netherlands. Their debut album on Gutman Records: Schulhoff Complete String Quartets has received stellar international praise. The Gramophone claimed “this set shoots straight to the top” and also admired the quartet for being “capable of the most seductive playing”. The album was chosen for the 2017 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik ‘Bestenliste’ and was also featured on several German national radio stations including Deutschlandfunk and SWR2, the latter hailing Alma’s Schulhoff cycle as the “new reference recording”.
Alma Quartet: Dutilleux and Glass, released exclusively on vinyl, has equally enjoyed immediate critical praise. Receiving 4-stars across the board from major publications, the quartet is noted for their “collective antenna for sophisticated timbres” by the Volkskrant, and for their “carefully forged unity” by the Telegraaf.
Their album: Debussy, Ravel and Dutilleux was given the highest ranking by Luister Magazine and stated that “Alma Quartet plays with desired liveliness, great rhythmic precision and exceptional sound.” And the Volkskrant claimed “[...] it has fire, is rhythmically razor-sharp and a sensuality of the unashamed kind with a beautiful, glowing depth.” As well as performing the classical repertoire, the quartet is keen on collaborating with producer Henrik Schwarz in a multitude of projects. Their album CCMYK, in which they explore the possibilities of seamlessly fusing newly composed electronic and classical music into a new language, has been released on the label Between Buttons and has been very enthusiastically received.

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Press

The Alma Quartet, along with pianist Severin von Eckardstein, exhibits a wonderful cohesion in this performance. The recording too is excellent, with great tonalities across the board and just enough studio ambience to create a nice soundstage around the performers.
Fanfare Magazine, 01-3-2024

Pianist Severin von Eckardstein pulls the quartet in the Piano Quintet op. 15 and unleashes more unity and energy. Pianist and quartet come together beautifully in the phenomenal second variation movement, with more intimacy and refinement.
Luister, 01-12-2023

Everything is Korngold through and through, from the slippery harmonies to the sometimes crazy approach (hear the sway with which the First String Quartet starts off). The Alma Quartet is not shy about color and atmosphere. Part two is peppered with alternating fleshy and glassy sounds. Tripping seems to be the marching order in part three.
De Volkskrant, 05-10-2023

Although this absolute music precedes Korngold's glittering career in Hollywood, there is undeniably a very image-rich core to his pieces. The musicians know how to interpret this in a compelling way. In the high registers they provide an entertaining lightness with pronounced pizzicatos and light keyboard touches, while the lower regions vibrate with the brooding warmth of the cello playing.
De Standaard, 04-10-2023

It's beautiful, too, but it's never just about the surface; and when the string players are joined by Eckardstein in the Quintet, everything falls perfecty into place, with the pianist matching the string players for concentration and tone colour, whether dark-hued chromatic menace, the moonlit inwardness of the slow movement or that final, euphoric sweep up to the finish. It's gorgeous stuff, and if you're old enough to remember the 1990's, when any recording of Korngold music was a cause for celebration, you'll have all the more reason to admire this achievement.
Gramophone, 01-10-2023

These are really five mood makers that are perfect for the romantic idiom. A tradition once established is continued.
Opus Klassiek, 15-9-2023

Play album Play album
01.
String Quartet No. 1 in A Major, Op. 16: I. Allegro molto
08:17
(Erich Wolfgang Korngold) Benjamin Peled, Jeroen Woudstra, Clément Peigné, Alma Quartet, Marc Daniel van Biemen
02.
String Quartet No. 1 in A Major, Op. 16: II. Adagio quasi Fantasia. Langsam, mit großem Ausdruk
09:14
(Erich Wolfgang Korngold) Alma Quartet, Clément Peigné, Jeroen Woudstra, Benjamin Peled, Marc Daniel van Biemen
03.
String Quartet No. 1 in A Major, Op. 16: III. Intermezzo. Ziemlich lebhaft, mit Grazie
05:21
(Erich Wolfgang Korngold) Severin von Eckardstein, Alma Quartet, Clément Peigné, Jeroen Woudstra, Benjamin Peled, Marc Daniel van Biemen
04.
String Quartet No. 1 in A Major, Op. 16: IV. Finale. Allegretto amabile e comodo
11:33
(Erich Wolfgang Korngold) Alma Quartet, Clément Peigné, Jeroen Woudstra, Benjamin Peled, Marc Daniel van Biemen
05.
Piano Quintet in E Major, Op. 15: I. Mäßiges Zeitmaß, mit schwungvoll blühendem Ausdruk
12:33
(Erich Wolfgang Korngold) Severin von Eckardstein, Alma Quartet, Clément Peigné, Jeroen Woudstra, Benjamin Peled, Marc Daniel van Biemen
06.
Piano Quintet in E Major, Op. 15: II. Adagio. Mit größter Ruhe, stets äußerst gebunden und ausdrucksvoll
13:13
(Erich Wolfgang Korngold) Severin von Eckardstein, Alma Quartet, Clément Peigné, Jeroen Woudstra, Benjamin Peled, Marc Daniel van Biemen
07.
Piano Quintet in E Major, Op. 15: III. Finale. Gemessen, beinahe pathetisch
08:19
(Erich Wolfgang Korngold) Severin von Eckardstein, Alma Quartet, Clément Peigné, Jeroen Woudstra, Benjamin Peled, Marc Daniel van Biemen

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