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Hagen Quartet - Maurice Ravel - String Quartet in F - Vif et agité (4/4)

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Uploaded on Nov 4, 2009

The fourth and final movement of 28 year-old Ravel's Quatuor à Cordes. He is said to have been meticulous in his writing, and, finally, a group of musicians have matched his efforts in terms of attention. This is, in my opinion, the best performance and recording of this piece.

Exploding with a firey tremolo motif comes vif et agité, the necessary rush after the calm that was the previous movement. It allows the theme from the first movement to be returned, but unlike très lent, which sleepily repeats it, vif et agité presents a variation giving it a sense of rebirth; a nice contrast to the fire of the trems and pizzicato chords. Befittingly, the quartet ends as it started: in F. Though Fauré said this movement was a failure due to its bad structure, I have to disagree. Vif et agité is strikingly successful as a finale, allows us to revisit ideas presented, and sends us off in a flurry of exhilaration. Besides, structure shouldn't take precedence over style.

This video includes over 2 minutes of applause. Why? Because they're that good.

Hagen Quartet:

First Violin - Lukas Hagen (Austria)
Second Violin - Rainer Schmidt (Germany)
Viola - Veronika Hagen (Austria)
'Cello - Clemens Hagen (Austria)

Concert hall - Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria. (2000.)

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the copyrights. I am uploading these in the spirit of sharing artistry and education. I urge you to visit the following links and consider purchasing:

The avi file, http://www.medici.tv/#/movie/2832/
And/or the DVD, http://www.hbdirect.com/album_detail....

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