Mendelssohn, Webern, Janáček: Eternal Beauty


    SKU: C00699 Category:

    Additional information



    , ,

    EAN Code







    Publication year


    The recording project Eternal Beauty is the consequence of a musical elaboration and reflection on the theme of love, analyzed and discussed in the spheres of remembrance, idyll, and torment.
    This programme does not focus on a well-defined temporal field, but rather presents the musical realization of three stories elaborated between nineteenth and twentieth century.
    In spite of their different origins, all compositions share a powerful emotional impact, and the almost obsessive alternation between contrasting colours and feelings, which are typical for humankind, leading the listener from a state of frailness and impotence to a series of openings to light and hope.

    “They played Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata,” he continued. “Do you know the first presto? You do?” he cried. “Ugh! Ugh! It is a terrible thing, that sonata. And especially that part. And in general music is a dreadful thing! What is it? I don’t understand it. What is music? What does it do? And why does it do what it does? They say music exalts the soul. Nonsense, it is not true! It has an effect, and awful effect — I am speaking of myself — but not of an exalting kind. It has neither an exalting nor a debasing effect but it produces agitation. How can I put it? Music makes me forget myself, my real position; it transports me to some other position not my own. Under the influence of music it seems to me that I feel what I do not really feel, that I understand what I do not understand, that I can do what I cannot do”.
    Janáček’s first string quartet, Kreutzer-Sonata, is a shining example of how a six-note fragment can represent a thread leading the listener throughout a piece. It is a motif leading the external ear without the risk of losing itself in the continuing changes of mood and in the stories of life, transformed into music by the protagonist of Tolstoy’s novel. The occasionally obsessive and spasmodic alternance between rhythmically contrasting elements and sound landscapes helps us to understand, firsthand, the most powerful emotions of human existence, which may be at times shady and irrational: love, obsession, fear, rage, dignity, shame and many others.
    The instruments’ sound, at times dry and sour, or warm and sweet, is always in function of the emotion and of the text.
    The scoring adopted by Janáček does not build the score on the classical processes of thematic elaboration, but rather on the repetition (continually varied, enriched, intertwined among the instruments) of an aphoristic and fragmentary melodic material, with a folklike character.
    In the Con moto. Vivace. Andante, there is a quote from the theme of the second movement of Beethoven’s violin and piano Kreutzer Sonata. In Janáček, just as in Beethoven, the theme is entrusted to the violin, but it is contrasted by the frenzied “sul ponticello (on the bridge)” by the second violin and viola. It is a distorted, repeated motif, suggesting the story’s protagonist’s torment and jealousy, shortly before his killing of his wife.
    This quartet is difficult to understand; all forms of superficial and distracted listening to it are made impossible and hardly enjoyable.

    “To walk like this forever among the flowers, with my beloved beside me, to feel myself so utterly at one with the Universe, without a care, as free as a lark in the sky above – Oh, what splendor… WHen night fell (after the rain), the sky cried with bitter tears, but I walked with her on a path […] and a single cloak covered us both. Our love filled the air. We were two drunken souls”.
    Langsamer Satz (“Slow Movement”) by Webern is unique in the Austrian musician’s large output in being a late-Romantic pearl, influenced by the music and the symphonic style of Brahms and Mahler.
    Its long melodic lines are sustained by a clear tonality, by subtle and never vulgar sounds, even in the most passionate sections.
    It is a declaration of love, whereby the four instruments’ voices blend with each other and fulfill it, giving light to a sound spectrum which is full and warm, and occasionally tender and reassuring.
    A particular feature of this piece is certainly the respect and attention given to the principal theme by the composer; it is entrusted, in order, to all four instruments ,with different dynamics and accompaniments.
    The sound is frequently altered by the use of effects such as tremolo (in the arpeggio passed from one voice to another after the fortissimo unison at the end of the first section), “con sordina” and pizzicato (accompaniments by the second violin in the central section, where cello and viola propose the theme in pianissimo, as if in a sottovoce memory).
    Langsamer Satz is at times labelled as detached and unripe, with respect to Webern’s later output, but, if it is carefully analyzed, nothing in it is left to chance; indications are clear and detailed, from rubatos to the continuing tempo changes and modifications in intention.
    Webern’s slow movement can be intended as the consequence of a world in a continuing state of ebullition, at the end of an epoch and at its rebirth from those ashes.

    “I had never told her how much I loved her.
    She was my sister.
    We slept in the same bed.
    There was never a right time to say it.
    It was always unnecessary.
    I thought about waking her.
    But it was unnecessary.
    There would be other nights.
    And how can you say I love you to someone you love?
    I rolled onto my side and fell asleep next to her”
    Mendelssohn’s Quartet no. 6 is a work in memory of his beloved sister Fanny, who died prematurely in May 1847. That pain is never relaxed or hidden throughout the work, which rather becomes the explicit expression of a creative impetus which is entirely new and unusual for Mendelssohn.
    The main key of F minor, the tremolos punctuated by two fp by the cello and viola, and the violins’ initial hairpins suffice in order to classify Mendelssohn’s op. 80 as one of the most dramatic Quartets written in the nineteenth century.
    The syncopations and the continuing changes in dynamics, accent and intensity – Schubert-like – characterize the three external movements and give the continuing feeling of pain and rejection with respect to the recent mourning, of inquietude, of the cool desperation for a tomorrow with no light.
    A note of hope is found in the third movement, a lyrical and melancholic Adagio representing a sign of acceptance of the most intimate and tender memory, which is, however, broken by the sudden and agitated beginning of the Finale.
    This movement, an Allegro Molto, maintains a continuing tension with exchanges, fragments of semiquavers intertwined among the parts, accents, syncopations, chromaticisms, and hairpins indicating an uncontrolled, frenzied and delirious music. The central cantabile theme’s incipit is submerged by a continuing movement of the voices, at times wavy. The climax and the run of homorhythmic triplets almost seems an unavoidable and desperate finale, like a cry toward heaven.


    Quartetto Eos
    Formed in 2016 within the Conservatorio S. Cecilia in Rome, the Quartetto Eos immediately caught the attention of the musical world for the freshness and depth of their interpretations, winning in 2018 the "Farulli Prize" awarded by the Italian Music Criticism within the "Franco Abbiati" prize.
    He is currently attending the Master in Chamber Music “The Ebène Academy” at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München with the Ebène Quartet and regularly follows in-depth masters with musicians of the level of Alfred Brendel, Corina Belcea (Belcea Quartet), Eckart Runge, Patrick Jüdt (ECMA), Lawrence Dutton (Emerson Quartet), Isabel Charisius (Alban Berg Quartet), Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartet) and the Jerusalem Quartet.
    In addition, he attended the advanced course for string quartet at the Stauffer Academy in Cremona in the class of the Cremona Quartet.
    The ensemble has already achieved important successes in international and national competitions, such as the International Anton Rubinstein Competition in Düsseldorf, the Sergio Dragoni Competition in Milan (2019), the first prize at the Orpheus Competition in Winterthur (2020).
    Despite its recent formation, the Quartetto Eos regularly plays for important musical institutions in the all Europe such as the Società del Quartetto of Milan, Davos Festival, the IUC (Rome), the Filarmonica Romana, Musikdorf Ernen, the Associazione Scarlatti of Naples, the Philarmonie de Paris, Ticino Musica, the Swiss Foundation of Basel and others.
    Moreover, it often collaborates with musicians of the calibre of Calogero Palermo (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Gustavo Nuñez (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Jerusalem Quartet, Cremona Quartet, Enrico Pace, Aron Chiesa (Basel Sinfonieorchester) Enrico Dindo.
    The ensemble has been several times guest of radio broadcasts on Rai Radio3, “SRF 2 Kultur” and on Rai 5, Rai 1 television channel.
    Since July 2022, it has been appointed “Artist in residence” at the prestigious Singer-Polignac Foundation in Paris together with the Ébène Quartet.
    In 2023 they will record a CD of music by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari produced by "Brilliant Classic" label in collaboration with “Accademia degli Sfaccendati”.
    The Eos Quartet plays a quartet of instrument built by Peter Greiner and kindly offered by Maestro Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartet).


    Anton Webern (Friedrich Wilhelm von)
    (b Vienna, 3 Dec 1883; d Mittersill,15 Sept 1945). Austrian composer and conductor. Webern, who was probably Schoenberg's first private pupil, and Alban Berg, who came to him a few weeks later, were the most famous of Schoenberg's students and became, with him, the major exponents of 12-note technique in the second quarter of the 20th century. Webern applied the new technique more rigorously than either Schoenberg, who took many liberties, or Berg, who never used it exclusively; Webern's strictness, and his innovative organization of rhythm and dynamics, were seized upon eagerly by Boulez and Stockhausen and other integral serialists of the Darmstadt School in the 1950s and were a significant influence on music in the second half of the century.

    (b Hamburg, 3 Feb 1809; d Leipzig, 4 Nov 1847). German composer. One of the most gifted and versatile prodigies, Mendelssohn stood at the forefront of German music during the 1830s and 40s, as conductor, pianist, organist and, above all, composer. His musical style, fully developed before he was 20, drew upon a variety of influences, including the complex chromatic counterpoint of Bach, the formal clarity and gracefulness of Mozart and the dramatic power of Beethoven and Weber.

    Mendelssohn’s emergence into the first rank of 19th-century German composers coincided with efforts by music historiographers to develop the concept of a Classic–Romantic dialectic in 18th and 19th-century music. To a large degree, his music reflects a fundamental tension between Classicism and Romanticism in the generation of German composers after Beethoven.

    Leos Janacek: (b Hukvaldy, Moravia, 3 July 1854; d Moravská Ostrava, 12 Aug 1928). Czech composer. His reputation outside Czechoslovakia and German-speaking countries was first made as an instrumental composer, with a small number of chamber and orchestral pieces written between his operas, which he considered his main work. The balance has now been largely redressed and he is regarded not only as a Czech composer worthy to be ranked with Smetana and Dvořák, but also as one of the most substantial, original and immediately appealing opera composers of the 20th century.