SCHUBERT: String Quartet No 14 in D minor, "Death and the Maiden", D. 810
SCHUBERT: Fantasy in F minor, D. 940
Keller Quartet, Ildikó Rozsonits, Ryan Martin Bradshaw piano
“Give me your hand, you fair and tender form. / I am a friend and come not to punish. / Be of good cheer! I am not savage. / Gently in my arms shall you sleep.” Schubert’s song was composed in 1817 to the poem by Matthias Claudius, and in 1824 he returned to the melody when, already in poor health, he wrote the String Quartet in D minor, still known to this day under the title Death and the Maiden. The beginning of the end, the marker point of the final phase of his career, a coming to terms with the thought of death – there are several ways of approaching an interpretation of this work that has long enjoyed iconic status, which this time is played by the experienced Keller Quartet. The late four-hand masterpiece Fantasy in F minor (1828) is dedicated to Countess Caroline Esterházy, a Hungarian aristocrat. The accomplished pianist Caroline is said to have aroused the passions of Schubert a decade earlier, and as one more romantically inclined biographer put it: “That flame never died until the end of his life.” And although this is too beautiful (and sad) to be true, there is still something hidden in this composition that begins with an unforgettable theme.