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Sebastian Gürtler, violin; Régis Bringolf, violin; Subin Lee, viola; Florian Berner, cello; Alexander Neubauer, clarinet; Silvia Careddu, flute; Ariane Haering Schmid, piano
Gustav Mahler, Quartet Movement for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello in A minor
Alfred Schnittke, Piano Quartet, for violin, viola, cello and piano (based on a fragment by G. Mahler)
Arnold Schoenberg, Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E Major, Op. 9 (authorized arr. A. Webern)
Gustav Mahler, Adagio from Symphony No. 10 (arr. Martyn Harry)
The Alban Berg Ensemble Wien, known for its unique instrumental combination, brings together members of the renowned Hugo Wolf Quartet and acclaimed Viennese musicians. The Alban Berg Foundation bestowed its imprimatur on the ensemble as a public acknowledgement of the esteem in which these musicians are held for their artistic vision, and in recognition of their innovative path in the spirit of Alban Berg, the Second Viennese School's most romantic composer. The guiding principle that unites the seven musicians is to communicate music in an open-minded, uncompromising, yet poetic manner – connected to the past while committed to the future.
The core of the evening’s repertoire, spanning a wide spectrum of chamber music, is music from the turn of the century – works by ‘hyper-romantics’ on the cusp of modernism that (furthermore) explore new sound and timbral possibilities: these include a stripped-down version of Mahler's Adagio that opens up new harmonic horizons, Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony, which follows the direction of the composer's new musical identity, and Schnittke’s rarely heard elaboration of the second movement of Mahler's unfinished quintet.
Technically these music accounts are all superb, but the ensemble goes well beyond that and plays with a sophistication and vibrancy which is all their own. Planet Hugill
Alban Berg Ensemble Wien here offers us clear, well-chiselled and stylistically sophisticated interpretations. The inherent loss of orchestral power finds compensation in the agility, virtuosity, and reactive speed of the Vienna ensemble.