Robert Schumann

String Quartett F-Dur op. 41 Nr. 2

Béla Bartók

String Quartett Nr.3 SZ85

Robert Schumann

String Quartett A-Dur op. 41 Nr. 3

Artemis Quartett

How to write string quartets after Beethoven, whose works – especially the late ones – have been regarded by his followers as the paradigm of “pure and absolute art of sounds”? Schubert, his contemporary, the author of 15 quartets, may not have felt this pressure so acutely, but Schumann, with his poetic predisposition, must have been aware of it. After several unsuccessful attempts, he presented to the world three pieces of rare appeal: String Quartets, Op. 41 (1842), the only ones he had ever composed. Disrupting the classical unity of the genre, he enriched it with a new, romantic dimension of beauty. To paraphrase Schumann’s famous remark about Chopin’s works, one may say that Schumann’s Quartets are true flowers among romantic chamber music.

The Third from the six String Quartets by Béla Bartók, alongside Dmitri Shostakovich (15 quartets) the greatest master of this genre in the past century, is very different in spirit. Here, the music refuses to openly acknowledge its classical-romantic affinities, but seems to reach for its deeper source, the archetypes of melody, rhythm, and timbre. In spite of its radicalism, the Third String Quartet (1927) embraces “the breath of earth,” which pervades all Bartók’s works, thus demonstrating that while enjoying world-wide renown, the composer never renounced his national, Hungarian roots.

[Stanisław Kosz]


Artemis Quartettwas founded in 1989 at the University of Music Lübeck and is counted among the foremost worldwide quartet formations today. Being awarded the frst place in ARD competition in 1996 and six months later at ‚Premio Borciani’, made the quartet internationally successful.

Artemis Quartett gives concerts for all great musical centres and international festivals in Europe, the United States, Asia, South America and Australia. Since 2004 the ensemble creates own cycles at the chamber music hall of Berlin Philharmonie, since 2011 at Wiener Konzerthaus (together with Belcea Quartet) and with the beginning of season 2016/2017 at Prince Regent Theatre Munich.

From the beginning the collaboration with musical colleagues has been a major inspiration for the ensemble. Thus, Artemis Quartett has toured with notable musicians such as Sabine Meyer, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Juliane Banse and Jörg Widmann. Various recordings document the artistic cooperation with several partners, for example the piano quintets by Schuhmann and Brahms with Leif Ove Andsnes, the Schubert quintet with Truls Mørk or Arnold Schönberg’s ’Verklärte Nacht’ with Thomas Kakuska and Valentin Erben from Alban Berg Quartet.

Since 2005 the Artemis Quartett exclusively records for Virgin, today Erato and can by now look back on a large discography. Their recordings have been repeatedly awarded the ’The German Record Critic’s Award’, the ’Gramophone Award’, the ’Diapason d’Or’ as well as the ’ECHO Klassik’. The entire recording of Beethoven’s quartets for strings was honoured with the important french ’Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros’ in 2011.

Most recently released was a recording of creations of Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in 2014 (ECHO Klassik) as well as – dedicated to Friedemann Weigle – the recording of Brahm’s quartets op. 51/1 and op. 67 in fall 2015 (The German Record Critic’s Award).

Vineta Sareika – violin

Anthea Kreston – violin

Gregor Sigl – viola

Eckart Runge – violoncello