Masterclass: Schubert Quartet no.14, ‘Death And The Maiden’
Second violinist of the Chiaroscuro Quartet, Pablo Hernán Benedí, looks at the first movement of a work filled with secrets, threats, drama and tension
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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