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Schoenberg: String Quartets Nos. 3 & 4

String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30
String Quartet No. 4, Op. 37
Phantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment, Op. 47

Fred Sherry String Quartet


A welcome addition to Naxos's championship of a one-time most unpopular of composers.

The later quartets, previously hard nuts indeed, now sound comfortably natural, and the quotation from Fred Sherry about the slow movement of No 3 " a piece of great beauty and depth, it reminds this writer and cellist of the Andante of Mozart's K. 563" perfectly reasonable.

No 4 (1936) I found a sheer delight to revisit; once I thought it tough, Brahmsian with wrong notes...

Now, it is mostly light and witty, the slow movement tender and moving; it would surely be a regular recital item if Schoenberg wasn't still a bogey-man, his name on a concert programme still bound to reduce ticket sales...

The presentation is generous, with analyses by the composer and comments by Sherry.

Fine performances, well recorded, a special Naxos bargain.

Peter Grahame Woolf