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CHAN 10611
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CHAN 10611
The String Quartets

Korngold: The String Quartets

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2010

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2009


Doric String Quartet


Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk


Jonathan Cooper


Jonathan Cooper

Record Label



Total Time - 79:16
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The String Quartets

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String Quartet No. 1, Op. 16 (1920-23)

  in A major - in A-Dur - en la majeur  
  Dem Rosé-Quartett gewidmet  
1 I Allegro molto 7:51
2 II Adagio, quasi Fantasia. Langsam, mit großem Ausdruck 8:39
3 III Intermezzo. Ziemlich lebhaft, mit Grazie 5:01
4 IV Finale. Allegretto amabile e comodo 10:39

String Quartet No. 2, Op. 26 (1933)

  in E flat major - in Es-Dur - en mi bémol majeur  
5 I Allegro 5:38
6 II Intermezzo. Allegretto con moto - Molto più mosso - 3:37
7 III Larghetto. Lento - Con molto sentimento 7:14
8 IV Waltz (Finale). Tempo di Valse - Meno mosso - Poco più mosso - Poco meno mosso - 5:23

String Quartet No. 3, Op. 34 (1944-45)

  in D major - in D-Dur - en ré majeur  
  Dedicated to Bruno Walter in admiration and friendship  
9 I Allegro moderato - Tranquillo - Subito agitato - Tempo I - Poco meno 6:33
10 II Scherzo. Allegro molto - 3:51
  Trio. L'istesso tempo - Meno mosso - Più mosso -  
  Scherzo D.C. al Fine  
11 III Sostenuto. Like a Folk Tune - Poco più mosso - Appassionato - Molto meno, dolce - Tempo I 9:29
12 IV Finale. Allegro - Allegro con fuoco - Più mosso 5:21

The Doric String Quartet is now firmly established as one of the outstanding quartets of its generation. Now in its eleventh season, it regularly performs at major festivals and venues throughout the UK as well as abroad in continental Europe and Asia. This is the Quartet’s debut CD on Chandos as exclusive artists.

Most famous for his lushly romantic film scores, Erich Wolfgang Korngold wrote a quantity of music for the concert hall, the stage, as well as three highly individual string quartets between the years 1920 and 1945. Korngold was one of the great prodigies in the history of classical music, and by the time he started work on his First String Quartet (completed 1923), he had already written what many consider to be his magnum opus, the opera Die tote Stadt.

The three quartets range widely in style and are all very appealing. The First is notable for its strikingly adventurous harmony, the Second (1933) for its sheer wealth of melodic appeal, whilst the Third (1945) uses material from his film scores, and is as varied and dramatic as many of the films which he scored.

‘This is an ensemble, young but mature of insight, that plays Haydn’s music with spirit, illuminating its blend of wit and sophistication, grace and vivacity, cunning and seemingly effortless spontaneity… The Doric’s performances, without exaggeration but with just the right degree of elucidation, revealed the music’s extraordinary originality and the way that Haydn can explore the potential of his thematic material so thoroughly yet so artlessly… Unequivocally, these were performances of terrific panache and perception, seeming to get right under the skin of Haydn’s creative genius.’    - The Sunday Telegraph, 18 January 2009

‘Great wisdom and no self-indulgence’ - The Strad - 2008

"Korngold’s String Quartets are of the highest quality ... These quartets spontaneously structured, show Korngold at his most melodically memorable and rewarding. They are played most sympathetically here, and are given top-quality Chandos recording."

The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

“...Recorded at Snape Maltings last summer, this rich romantic music strongly pre-empts the screen music to follow, and the performance and sound place it ahead of the competition.”

Peter Spaull – Liverpool Post – 9 February 2012

                    ’Critic’s Choice

David Gutman - Gramophone - December 2011

           Artistic Quality 10           Sound Quality  10
"There’s very little competition for this music, which is a shame because these are excellent quartets... These quartets are quite difficult to play, the first especially, which features frequent changes of tempo, often within a few bars. The Doric players handle all of these with astonishing ease and naturalness... Excellent sonics complement this obvious first choice for this music. If you don’t know these pieces, you should. There’s much more to Korngold than you might think--check out the wonderfully spiky scherzo in the Third quartet for a particularly bracing "fact check" on his theoretically unabashedly late-Romantic style. ... An important release for chamber music devotees, and a terrific example of first-rate quartet playing.

David Hurwitz - - 29 May 2011

“...The performances and interpretations are the last word in sympathy, precision, and beauty of tone. This release is Exhibit A in defence of the intelligence of a composer too often maligned for writing music that people can actually enjoy.”

Don O’Connor – American Record Guide – March/April 2011

"...The Doric Quartet plays with great refinement and energy ..."

Jonathan Woolf            Fanfare - March/April 2011

"...The Dorics have made this music their own."

Greg Keane  - Limelight Magazine - 19 January 2011

           ‘Pizzicato Supersonic’

Guy Wagner

Pizzicato - March 2011

              Repertoire *****      Sound *****

Marcus Stabler

Fono Forum - February 2011

                               Critics Choice          


Adrian Edwards

Gramophone - December 2010

             “Gramophone Recommends”
“The ‘serious’ side of a film-music composer evokes inter-war Vienna.”  “…This is a most deirable issue of music with which the Doric foursome are totally at ease.”

Adrian Edwards

The Gramophone - November 2010

“…The Doric players reveal a rare sensitivity for the music’s emotional ebb and flow.” “…Captured in exemplary sound …these devotedly expert performances set new standards in this relatively neglected but infinitely rewarding area of repertoire.”

Julian Haylock

The Strad - November 2010

 “This is a disc to be treasured”

Henry Fogel

Fanfare - September/October 2010


Geoff Brown

The Times - 4 September 2010

‘…The Doric Quartet, in these superb performances (enhanced by the rich, crystal-clear recording), play them as if they were established repertoire works, which they deserve to be.’ ****

David Cairns

The Sunday Times - 3 October 2010

“…The Doric play this music well …”

Peter Spaull

Liverpool Daily Post - 9 September 2010



Geoffrey Norris

The Telegraph - 4 September 2010

Great album. Great playing. Excellent recording quality. (But why no album art with the download?)
V DiVenere

B Taylor

A Psilopoulos