Quatuor Ebène & Gautier Capuçon play Schubert’s String Quintet – Can’t get enough of it

On my absence

2016 has been a very bad year for me posting-wise so far. Last year I was usually able to stick to my self-imposed posting schedule, of about 2 per week.

Since the beginning of the year this frequency has plummeted. Sorry for that. There is a couple of reasons involved, too much business travel, late nights at the office, some long week-ends / short vacation, and most recently, a nasty gastro-intestinal flu that isn’t fully over yet. Plus there’s been a bit of a writing block on the occasional days that I could have written.

Well anyhow, I really hope you should be able to read my posts more often in the future, fingers crossed.

Thanks in any case for your loyalty, my dear readers. Very much appreciated.

Schubert’s String Quintet

Yes, I’ve written about it before. Schubert’s string quartet, to me personally the highest peak that chamber music ever reached (sorry LvB fans).

I’ve already recommended the Pavel Haas Quartet’s version here, the Takacs also have done a beautiful version.

So there is obviously no need to talk about it again.

Quatuor Ebène

Well, actually there is. The reason is called Quatuor Ebène. This French quartet is noteworthy not only for being one of the leading classical string quartets of our time, but also do crossover, i.e. interpret Jazz and contemporary musical classically.

I must admit the term crossover usually makes me run away as fast as I can, as it is usually just horrible André Rieu / David Garrett / Vanessa Mae etc. trash (sorry, but I really can’t help it, that’s about the only word that expresses what I feel about this stuff).

But obviously to every rule there is an exception. Ebène is one of the few classical artists to really pull this off well!

Back to Schubert.

Schubert: Quintet & Lieder – Quatuor Ebène – Gautier Capuçon – Matthias Gerne (ERATO/WARNER 2016)

Schubert String Quintet - Lieder - Quatuor Ebène - Gautier Capuçon - Matthias Goerne  ERATO 2016

I would have checked out this album even without a “Choc” from Classica and an Editor’s Choice recommendation by Gramophone. But obviously, having the highest possible endorsement from both of my favorite classical magazines helped.

Let’s write about the Quatuor first. They are joined by Gautier Capuçon on 2nd cello. Gautier is the younger brother of the well-known violinist Renaud.

So what makes this recording so special? Two words spring to mind, rough and fresh. Rough isn’t meant that this is not high quality playing, far from that. But there is a real direct quality in the playing, that let’s you notice all the little angles and details than more polished recordings.

I’ve mentioned the energy that sets apart the Pavel Haas Quartet’s reading. You’ll find some of this here, but overall this is even more “chamberesque” (is this a word?) and intimate in this reading with Ebène.

This recording never just let’s you enjoy it, this album forces you to live the music.

The String quintet is already nearly 1h long, so many other artist would have just stopped there. Here however, you get an interesting bonus. Schubert is obviously famous for his Lieder (songs), and many of his chamber works are inspired by his songs (e.g. Death and the Maiden, see also here).

Usually, these songs have a piano arrangement. I must admit, I’ve never heard them with a string quartet supporting the singer. Well, here we go. And obviously, you don’t just get any kind of singer, you get Matthias Goerne, a Schubert legend. It is surprising how well this works. This is really way more than just a filler.

My rating: 5 stars – absolutely worth checking out, even if you already own the Haas or another reference version.

You can find it here (Qobuz) and here (Prestoclassical)

 

 

Author: Musicophile

I'm not a professional musician, I don't work in the music industry, I'm just what the name says, somebody who loves music. I've been in love with music for all of my life, took piano lessons for nearly 10 years, and played in several amateur Jazz groups. I go to concerts, both classical and Jazz, quite regularly. And I collect music previously on vinyl and CDs, now on my computer, and am slightly OCD on my music collection. You can reach me at Musicophile1(AT)gmail.com

11 thoughts on “Quatuor Ebène & Gautier Capuçon play Schubert’s String Quintet – Can’t get enough of it”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

classical life

A classical music blog by music critic Tim Mangan

This Week's Music

Making Classical Accessible

From my Macbook to the Net

Evaporation of my thoughts and observations

Elestra

Author: Artienne

My Life in Music

Playing, Singing and Listening

ArsX3

A brand new journal reviewing books, cinema, music

LawrenceEz's Blog

Creative and Performing Arts: Writing, Classical Music, Photography

Laetitia Strauch-Bonart

Contemporary Politics & Culture

sibling revelry

reveling in all things classical

It's A Raggy Waltz

I collect jazz on vinyl, I dig the Dave Brubeck Quartet, & I write about it

La Musica

By two cousins

Music Enthusiast - At the junction of rock, blues, R&B, jazz, pop,and soul

#𝟏𝟐𝟖 208 Top Music Blogs To Follow in 2022, #𝟓0 Top 80 American Music Blogs 2021

thejazzbreakfast

Dishing it out from the heart of England

only jazz

random thoughts about music that matters to me

Le Corso del Destino

a journey in classical music

The Culture Project

Exploring the world of literature, wine, art, music and more.

René Spencer Saller

The music causes me to dream of fabulous empires, filled with fabulous sins.

The High Arts Review

Βιβλία, ταινίες, μουσική

Breaking Baroque

Blog of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir

Tasting Nirvana

Eating your Dosha

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

April Greene

Writer + Editor

a pianist's musings

A history of your favorite classical music.

Classical music for all

Boris Giltburg's blog

%d bloggers like this: