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Date: Saturday, August 11, 2001 at 09:30:20
Text: I have a weak spot for Arensky and especially for his 2nd
String Quartet. In general, his music has a lot of the good
qualities of Tsjaikowsky's music without being out of (emotional)
balance. Arensky's 2nd Quartet is a very good example. It has rich
melodies, all of them easy to remember, without being superficial.
Alas Arensky had even bigger problems creating a solid structure
then Tsjaikowsky had. Especially the 3rd movement shows this. It
contains that strange reference to Moessorgsky (Boris Godoenow) and
Rimsky-Korsakow, (Sinfonietta) though the handling of the material
itself is superb. But I cannot hear any relation to the other
themes in this movement, so that it hangs in the air. The movement
is very crumbled. The form in which Arensky excelled was the theme
with variations, so it is no surprise that the 2nd movement is
really great. A naive theme hits the listener straight into the
heart and is varied in several very different ways, each of them
equally impressing. A desolate reference to the 1st movement
concludes the variations.
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