Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Wenzel Heinrich Veit String Quartets, Vol. 2 - As Good as Vol. 1

When I reviewed Volume 1, I said I was very much looking forward to this release. I'm not disappointed. The Kertész String Quartet perform to the same high standard they established with the first volume.

On the whole, this period-instrument quartet has the same warm, rich sound I enjoyed before. This time, though, I detected a slight edge to the ensemble, especially when the violins were in the higher register. A difference in mastering, perhaps? It's not a major difference, just one I noticed.

As far as the music goes, if you liked Veit's first two quartets, you'll certainly enjoy his remaining two. The third quartet (1838) and fourth quartet (1840) follow the models of Beethoven and Spohr.

The fourth quartet is the most adventurous. There's more chromatic motion and the harmonies sound deliciously complex.

It's a shame Veit abandoned the genre in 1840. He lived for another 26 years. One can only imagine how much further his quartet writing would have developed had he continued composing in the genre.

At least we have these four quartets. Thanks, Toccata Classics!

Wenzel Heinrich Veit
Complete String Quartets, Vol. 2
Kertész Quartet
Toccata Classics TOCC 0409

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