Following the 2012 release of Franz Schubert's String Quartets No. 13 and No. 14, the Prague-based Wihan Quartet offers the String Quartet No. 12 in C minor, "Quartettsatz," and the String Quartet No. 15 in G major, thus completing the group's exploration of Schubert's last statements in the genre. The "Quartettsatz" is one of several large works Schubert left incomplete, probably out of dissatisfaction, but because of its satisfying wholeness as a single movement, it was published posthumously. Its inclusion with Schubert's complete string quartets was determined by an editorial panel that included Johannes Brahms, and the Allegro was rated on par with the Unfinished Symphony. There is no doubt about the greatness of the String Quartet No. 15, which, along with the String Quintet in C, ranks among Schubert's most audacious and sublime compositions. The Wihan Quartet brings drama and pathos to both works and plays with intense concentration, which shows in the accuracy of the dotted rhythms and the crispness of the counterpoint at all times. The microphone placement helps to separate the players' parts, and the clean sound makes everything perfectly audible.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|String Quartet No. 15 in G major, D 887|
|String Quartet No. 12 in C minor, D 703 "Quartettsatz"|