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TINALLEY STRING QUARTET MENDELSSOHN STRING QUARTETS 1 & 2 LIEDER Greta Bradman

TINALLEY STRING QUARTET STRING QUARTETS 1 & 2 MENDELSSOHN · TINALLEY STRING QUARTET MENDELSSOHN STRING QUARTETS 1 & 2 LIEDER Greta Bradman. FELIX MENDELSSOHN 1809–1847 String Quartet

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  • TINALLEY STRING QUARTET

    MENDELSSOHN STRING QUARTETS 1 & 2

    LIEDERGreta Bradman

  • FELIX MENDELSSOHN 1809–1847

    String Quartet No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 121 I Adagio non troppo – Allegro non tardante 8.152 II Canzonetta, Allegretto – più mosso 4.003 III Andante espressivo 4.184 IV Molto allegro e vivace 9.09

    Lieder transcribed by Calvin Bowman (b. 1972)5 Auf Flügeln des Gesanges, Op. 34 No. 2 2.596 Suleika, Op. 34 No. 4 2.567 Lied ohne Worte, Op. 30 No. 2 (quartet) 2.028 Lied ohne Worte, Op. 19 No. 4 (quartet) 2.239 Frage, Op. 9 No. 1 1.42

    String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13 10 I Adagio – Allegro vivace 8.18 11 II Adagio non lento 7.53 12 III Intermezzo: Allegretto con moto – Allegro di molto 4.58 13 IV Presto 9.48

    TINALLEY STRING QUARTET ADAM CHALABI violin I LERIDA DELBRIDGE violin II JUSTIN WILLIAMS viola MICHELLE WOOD cello

    GRETA BRADMAN soprano (5, 6, 9) Total timing: 68.47

  • The inquisitive mind of the young Felix Mendelssohn was inspired and nurtured by his family, whose associations with influential literary and artistic figures of the day kindled his creativity. His love of classical forms and counterpoint was borne of a keen interest in the musical practices of his predecessors – in particular, J.S. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Viewed by some in his time as obsessed with ‘classicism’, Mendelssohn was in fact developing his own ways of pushing the boundaries of classical form. ‘Nobody can forbid me to enjoy the inheritance left by the great masters nor continue to work at it, because not everybody has to begin at the beginning. But then it must be continuous creation according to one’s ability, and not a lifeless repetition of what is already there’ – and it is in this spirit that he set about writing his first two string quartets.

    At eighteen years of age, Mendelssohn had already written twelve String Symphonies, the celebrated Octet in E flat major (considered the first work of his ‘mature’ period) and the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In their vivacious and delicately-light writing, these works embody what we now consider Mendelssohn’s ‘signature’ style,

    present in the quartets here, particularly in the Intermezzo of Op. 13 and the Canzonetta of Op. 12.

    The E flat Quartet, while published as his Op. 12, is actually the later work, composed in 1829. The Op. 13 quartet was written in 1827, a dramatic year for Mendelssohn: the revelation of Beethoven’s late quartets, the great master’s death, and falling in love with a woman. While this woman’s identity remains a mystery, we know she was the dedicatee of a love song by Mendelssohn, on a poem of Johann Gustav Droyson entitled Frage: Ist es Wahr? (Question: Is it True?).

    The Op. 13 is in turn based on Mendelssohn’s song Frage, Op. 9 No. 1, first heard in the work’s peaceful major-key introduction and then in the urgent, impassioned and decidedly minor-key melody of the first movement. Indeed, traces of the song can be found throughout the work. The quartet’s magisterial arch is closed in a remarkable way: in an inspired use of cyclic form, Mendelssohn reintroduces the introductory material at the end of the finale. The entire song follows, imbuing the quartet with almost painful melancholy.

  • Beethoven’s influence is particularly clear in the fugal writing of the second movement, which recalls a similar passage in the older composer’s Op. 95 Quartet. The cadenza connecting the final movements and opening of the fourth movement clearly reference Beethoven’s monumental Op. 132 (also in A minor), with similarities in structure, material, mood, and texture.

    Mendelssohn’s Op.12 also opens with a slow introduction to the Allegro, but this time it takes on a more dramatic, almost operatic quality, with a series of gripping suspensions leading back to the warmth of E flat Major. The second movement, another song in the form of a Canzonetta, features a dance-like use of pizzicato (plucked strings). In the più mosso section we hear Mendelssohn’s ‘signature’ scherzando style. The ravishing lyricism of the third movement paves the way for the dramatic final movement. As with the Op. 13, the final two movements are played attacca (without a break). At the climax of the last movement we hear a heart-wrenching chorale before the music dissolves back into the first theme of the opening movement, once more finishing where he started.

    The Lieder tradition came to prominence in the early nineteenth century, the first great proponent of the form being Franz Schubert. Works such as Schubert’s Der Tod und das Mädchen (1817), Die schöne Müllerin (1823) and Winterreise (1827), heralded a new age of romantic lyricism and the creation of a characteristically intimate vocal style.

    Mendelssohn included his song Frage as an appendix to the score of the Op. 13 quartet. Inspired by the composer’s use of the song as the genesis for the Op. 13 quartet, this recording features a short ‘song cycle’ of its own, commissioned from the Australian composer Calvin Bowman by the Tinalley String Quartet. Presented in this set are two arrangements of Mendelssohn’s Lieder ohne Worte for string quartet (Op. 30 No. 2 and Op. 19 No. 4) and three arrangements of his Lieder for string quartet and voice (Op. 34 Nos. 2 and 4, and Op. 9 No. 1). This set of five songs provides context to the lyrical nature of Mendelssohn’s writing from the period of his first and second string quartets, in both vocal and instrumental settings.

    © 2019 TINALLEY STRING QUARTET

  • The Tinalley String Quartet has performed throughout Australia, Europe, Canada and the United States, appearing in such prestigious venues as the Wiener Musikverein, Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Bremen Die Glocke, Frankfurt AlteOper and the Sydney Opera House. International highlights have included performances in New York, Paris, London, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco and San Diego. In Australia, the Quartet appears regularly at the nation’s premier festivals including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music; Melbourne International Arts Festival; Canberra International Music Festival; Perth International Arts Festival; Adelaide Festival and the Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival.

    The Tinalley String Quartet was awarded the Grand Prize of the 2005 Australian Chamber Music Competition, and captured the world’s attention in 2007 when it was awarded First Prize at the prestigious 9th Banff International String Quartet Competition.

    The Quartet is ‘Quartet-in-Residence’ at the University of Queensland and is named after the laneway that runs through The University of Melbourne, Parkville Campus where the Quartet formed. This is the ensemble’s second recording released on Decca Australia. Their first was a pairing of the Debussy and Ravel String Quartets, released in 2018.

    TINALLEY STRING QUARTET

    Internationally acclaimed for its ‘addictive sound’, ‘intuitive’ music making and ‘technical virtuosity’, the Tinalley String Quartet has established itself as one of Australia’s finest string quartets and most awarded classical music exports.

  • GRETA BRADMAN Soprano

    Stunning soprano Greta Bradman is one of Australasia’s most celebrated operatic and concert artists. Her 2015 début album for Decca Classics My Hero (with Richard Bonynge and the English Chamber Orchestra) received five-star reviews and topped the classical and classical crossover ARIA charts for several months. Her new album Home (with Luke Dollman, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Chamber Singers) was released in 2018 with similar ARIA charts success and an ARIA Award nomination for Best Classical Album.

    Recent performance highlights include Mimì (La bohème) for Opera Australia, Lisa (La sonnambula) for Victorian Opera and the title roles in Handel’s Theodora (Canberra) and Rodelinda (Melbourne).

    Greta has sung extensively in the United Kingdom, United States, Europe and throughout the Asia Pacific. A regular soloist with all the state symphony orchestras, her collaborators have

    included Zubin Mehta, Richard Bonynge, Matthias Foremny, Richard Tognetti, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Benjamin Northey, Rosario La Spina, Aled Jones, Russell Watson and Il Divo.

    She has performed for world leaders from the UK, USA, China, India, Monaco and Australia; highlights include singing for Barack Obama, and a 2014 recital in St James’s Palace for the British Royal Family. Winner of the 2013–14 Australian International Opera Award and the APRA/AMCOS Award in 2013, Greta is a Helpmann Award and ARIA Award nominee and was Limelight Magazine’s 2010 Newcomer of the Year and their 2015 Australian Artist of the Year.

    A registered psychologist (MPsych(clin); HonsPsych 1A, MAPS), Greta sits on advisory boards including those of the Australian Mental Health Prize and the Arts Wellbeing Collective (AWC). Greta was an integral part of developing the AWC. An artist with a deep passion for new Australian composition, Greta

  • has had works written for her by Peter Sculthorpe, Betty Beath, Ross Edwards, Katy Abbott, Elena Kats-Chernin, Paul Stanhope, Quentin Grant, Calvin Bowman, Tom Henry, Carl Crossin, among others. Greta is a regular presenter on ABC Classic, and a 2019 columnist for Limelight Magazine.

    After obtaining her music degree from the Elder Conservatorium of Music, Greta received her Fellowship from the Australian National Academy of Music before completing a Graduate Diploma in Advanced Vocal Studies at the Wales International Academy of Voice, where she studied under Dennis O’Neill CBE and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

  • Recording Producer: Stephen Snelleman

    Recording Engineer & Editor: Alex Stinson

    Recording Location: Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Centre, Melbourne, Australia, on 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 December 2017

    Cover and Back Cover Images: Celia Rosser, Banksia coccinea (Scarlet Banksia), 1974, watercolour and pencil on paper, 76.2 x 55.8cm. Courtesy of Monash University Collection (donated by the Botany Department, Monash University, 1989)

    Booklet Photographs: Christie Brewster (Tinalley String Quartet); Albert Comper (Greta Bradman)

    Art Direction: Christie Brewster

    This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

    Tinalley String Quartet wishes to thank the ARS MUSICA Foundation, and the Hamer Family Fund, as well as the many individuals who have supported this project.

    Greta Bradman is an exclusive Decca artist and appears on this recording courtesy of Universal Music Australia.

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