Mendelssohn String Quartet Op. 44 Nos. 1, 2
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© 2015 Analekta
Regarded today as a major composer of the romantic era, Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) played a role in the rediscovery of baroque music, primarily the works of Bach and Handel, which fell into oblivion after their deaths. Mendelssohn was one of the first composers of his period to renew the art of counterpoint, which would lead to him being considered at times as "the classical romantic."
The three quartets of Opus 44 were begun in 1837 and completed the following year. The composer's reputation at the time was rising dramatically. The oratorio Saint Paul had already earned him international recognition and he had headed Leipzig's renowned Gewandhaus Orchestra since 1835.
"Quartet Op. 44, No. 1 and No. 2 are incredibly dramatic and alive," explains violinist Sarah Nematallah via email. "They have a certain electricity that we wanted to zap the listener with. We wanted to challenge how people feel about the music of Mendelssohn."