Authentic Quartet

János Végh: String Quartets

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A close friend of Franz Liszt, yet a conservative who resisted the innovations of the progressive school, János Végh composed in an accessible style that looked backwards to the early Romanticism of Schubert and Mendelssohn. Some of his orchestral, chamber, vocal, and keyboard works were published in his lifetime, and the ever-helpful Liszt even transcribed some of his music. But the three string quartets performed by the Authentic Quartet for this Hungaroton release were discovered in manuscript and this is their first recording. The String Quartet in F major is engaging in a rustic manner, with a strong rhythmic impulse that carries the work along, in much the same way that the sweeping gestures of the String Quartet in D major propel it. In contrast, the String Quartet in G minor is almost a throwback to the melancholy tone of Mozart in that key, and its moods are tense and poignant. While these are not major revelations of genius, and the period-style performances by the Authentic Quartet are somewhat rough-edged, this recording is most likely to recommend itself to the curious and to musicians looking for neglected string quartet repertoire.

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