Masterclass: Schubert Quartet no.14, ‘Death And The Maiden’

chiaroscuro-living-room, cr Eva Vermandel

Second violinist of the Chiaroscuro Quartet, Pablo Hernán Benedí, looks at the first movement of a work filled with secrets, threats, drama and tension

Explore more Masterclasses  like this in The Strad Playing Hub

Read more premium content for subscribers here

When I joined the Chiaroscuro Quartet almost ten years ago, the first piece we played was Schubert’s ‘Rosamunde’ String Quartet; we then spent almost a year and a half playing mostly Schubert. His music is very powerful for us and to have this full immersion in his language was incredible. After leaving it untouched for a while, we have recently come back to it with more wisdom and a better understanding of how to hold all its tension and strength.

For me there is a fragility in Schubert – a vulnerable sound that has so much power, drama and contrast in it, in a completely personal way. It is very human, and gut strings – which we use in the Chiaroscuro Quartet – allow us to search for those qualities. However, regardless of the tools we use, the most important thing is that we immerse ourselves in the sound world of the piece and the language of the composer.

Click here to view the sheet music for this work in our digital edition

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.