JANINE JANSEN Schoenberg Schubert


SCHOENBERG: Verklärte Nacht
Transfigured Night
String Quintet D 956
Boris Brovtsyn · Amihai Grosz
Jens Peter Maintz · Maxim Rysanov
Torleif Thedéen
Int. Release 01 Apr. 2013
1 CD / Download

Track List

Arnold Schoenberg (1874 - 1951)
Verklärte Nacht, Op.4

Version for String Sextet

Janine Jansen, Boris Brovtsyn, Amihai Grosz, Maxim Rysanov, Torleif Thedéen, Jens-Peter Maintz

Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
String Quintet in C Major, D. 956



Janine Jansen, Boris Brovtsyn, Amihai Grosz, Torleif Thedéen, Jens-Peter Maintz

Total Playing Time: 1:23:00

. . . the depth of drama and colour in the stinging, swooning timbres identified by the Dutch violinist Janine Jansen and her friends . . . makes this "Verklärte Nacht" impressive. The pairing with Schubert is convincing, both works underpinned by Thedéen and Maintz's wonderfully close blend.

Here they bring silky skills and subtle touches to two great string pieces . . . The dapper phrasing and translucent textures are wonderfully calculated . . .

Dutch fiddler Janine Jansen's new disc is a winner . . . a commanding and mellifluous account of Schubert's death-bed String Quintet, but it's the coupling that settles it for me . . . "Transfigured Night", played perfectly here, is an often overlooked masterpiece.

The Dutch violinist Janine Jansen assembled an outstanding group of her string-playing friends for these recordings of Schoenberg and Schubert, and technically their performances can't be faulted. There's no trace here of starry individualism, but instead a real feeling of collegiate responsibility in the way that all the players constantly listen to each other and shade their own contributions accordingly . . . a very graphic account of Verklärte Nacht -- each section of the tone poem sharply delineated, the climaxes fierce the quieter moments almost inertly still . . .

["Verklärte Nacht"]: Jansen leads an intensely crafted performance that squeezes out every drop of decadence . . . [Schubert Quintet]: The playing here is lively and robust . . . Jansen, who has virtually grown up on the concert stage and in the recording studio, proves here that she's not just a flashy soloist but a fine chamber ensemble player as well.

They generate an intoxicating mix of heady passions in Schoenberg's "Verklärte Nacht", at the same time maintaining impressive clarity of texture and shaping what can seem a sprawling work. And in a fresh-sounding performance of Schubert's late quintet, they bring a relish of its boldness as well as an ambiguous poignancy.

[Jansen's approach to "Verklaerte Nacht"] strikes me as exactly how Heifetz might have conceived it -- as a virtuoso violin concertante piece -- had he been so motivated . . . the vividly contrasting affects and visceral emotions of the piece allow Jansen to cast a long wiry shadow and expressive brilliance over the entire range, her 1727 "Barrere" Stradivarius in glowing fire . . . Jansen and her gifted companions perform this half-hour melodrama in the rush of white heat, the tension often at breaking point . . . the intense sincerity of the Jansen ensemble cannot be questioned . . . [a] wonderful transparency of sound from this talented group . . . [Schubert]: What I like in the execution by Jansen and company is their fluid, rhythmic and harmonic alertness to the score, the fact that Schubert in his late period achieved great harmonic and dynamic freedom, changing keys and timbres every few bars. The delicate balance of two contrasting rhythms in the first movement -- the cello duet and the martial, unisono theme -- comes through vividly, unforced, but often with a dark, impending tension that bodes dark consequences in spite of the poet's song.

This is a recording of such quality and beauty.

. . . stellar forces assembled . . . an album of graceful flowing sunshine and light . . . In addition to coming close to the ease and generosity of Schubert's miracle, an equal miracle is how seamlessly the galaxy of stars . . . play the countless, subtle swells of dynamics, and vibrato that produce their Watteau-ish sense of Schubertian color. The informality of the playing is exhilarating . . . everywhere there is Jansen's tone and line, whether as a ghostly presence or hurling herself at key transition points with knife-edge timing and brilliantly, subtly judged portamento. The performance of Schoenberg's "Verklärte Nacht" is also to be reckoned with, attuned to the incredible virtuosity of what each player is doing with their line, without obscuring the emotional crush of the narrative line.

. . . [Schoenberg]: by the end of the half-hour the feeling that you are in a sauna is overwhelming. This team makes sure that you share their efforts to the full . . . [Schubert]: you feel as if you've emerged into fresh air . . . The trumpet-like effects of the scherzo are marvellous here . . .

. . . [an] intelligent paring of masterpieces . . . they play with a control that brings real dramatic immediacy to the pieces . . . the tension created by keeping the level of drama under control allows the group to change moods deftly and subtly . . . all the players converse with a single voice . . .

. . . [audio engineer Julian Schwenkner has] captured this interesting coupling of Schoenberg and Schubert in magnificent, warm, truly-contoured sound . . . every moment of "Transfigured Night" is drama-charged and driven home with commitment, making it easy to understand how the Second Viennese School arose not out of some abstract theory, but from late-Romantic hyperemotionalism. Jansen's sweettoned fiddle balanced against the rich dual-cello sound makes Schoenberg's haunting picture of Maeterlinck's lovers in a moonlit forest into a compelling listen.

. . . sie steht längst in der ersten Geigenreihe . . . Trotzdem überrascht die Niederländerin Janine Jansen ebenfalls gern. So etwa mit ihrem so streng zelebrierten wie weich gestreichelten All-Prokofjew-Album, wo das spröde 2. Violinkonzert ergänzt wird durch die intensiv-strahlende 1. Sonate und die mit Itamar Golan innig vorgetragene Sonate für zwei Violinen. Dem lässt sie aktuell eine Kammermusik-CD folgen, wo sie als versierte Mit-Spielerin im Kreise ihrer bekannten Instrumentalfreunde eine klangstarke, nicht romantisch plüschige Variante von Schönbergs Sextett "Verklärte Nacht" vorstellt. Das wiederum ergänzt sich glücklich mit Franz Schuberts C-Dur-Streichquintett. Nicht nur als feinsinnige Mischung aus Intellekt und Gefühl.

Wer sich auf diese Werke einlässt, wird reich belohnt. Die bei Schubert fünf, bei Schönberg sechs Musiker sind exzellente Instrumentalisten. Sie bilden keine feste Formation, kennen sich aber gut. Beste Voraussetzung für ein Musizieren, das fraglos homogen und doch in jeder Stimme individuell ist. Wer Janine Jansen . . . [im Konzert] gehört hat, kann ermessen, mit welcher Intensität die Musiker zu Werke gehen -- ohne aber eine permanente Überspannung zu erzeugen. Beide Werke dürften wohl kaum in packenderen und nuancenreicheren Einspielungen vorliegen. Ein Wunder an immer neuen Beleuchtungen ist insbesondere der fast 20-minütige Eingangssatz des Schubert-Quintetts.

. . . szeno-grafische Intensität, hohe atmosphärische Dichte und erregend dramatische Expressivität [prägen] die Interpretation dieser hybriden Musik. Kammermusikalische Feinheit und sinfonisches Drama, polyphone Klarheit und luxurierende Opulenz, satte Diatonik und verästelte Post-Tristan-Chromatik: Diese Berührung der Extreme tritt hier ins mondscheinsilbrige, mitunter nervös flackernde Licht -- auf überragendem spieltechnischen Niveau.

Janine Jansen, die hier zusammen mit Freunden in Schönbergs Streichsextett "Verklärte Nacht" und dem Schubert-Quintett beweist, dass man für musikalisch bezwingende und klanglich ausbalancierte Resultate nicht jahrelang zusammen spielen muss.

. . . "La Nuit transfigurée" étincelle ici sous le feu bouillonnant des 6 instrumentistes réunis autour de l'excellente violoniste Janine Jansen, étoile chambriste et solistique vedette chez Decca (ici paraissant en étonnante et convaincante premier violon); à la fois électriques et sombres, mais aussi d'une transparence discrète, les instrumentistes réussissent en un chambrisme murmuré et scintillant, d'une force expressive aussi finement ciselée; la lecture de la Nuit éblouit de facto et immédiatement par ses éclairs nuancés, une évidente ferveur collective idéalement partagée. Sans coller strictement et de facon uniquement narrative à la trame poétique de cette nuit de transe amoureuse, les interprètes savent aussi développer tout un cycle de musique pure, d'une intensité souvent prenante . . . [Schubert]: le Quintette diffuse un envoûtement singulier sous les doigts experts des 5 musiciens. Le fini des nuances, l'allégement de la texture instrumental . . . Magistral.