Guarneri Quartet plays Mozart Quartets and Quintets Box set
|Price:||CDN$ 17.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
German pressings of the immense Sony Classical Masters Catalog in smart, desirable and collectible multi-disc editions - The Sony catalog is replete with legendary artists and many of the greatest recordings of the classical repertoire - Box fronts feature large, prominently displayed photo of the featured artist - Slender, shelf-friendly boxes; CD's housed in space-saving slipsleeves
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The results, in the case of the Guarneri's readings (no less than the Juilliard's) are simply splendid. Mozart opined that operatic ensembles should "flow like oil," and that metaphor aptly describes the Guarneri's traversals of all twelve of these wonderful works. The Six "Haydn" Quartets come from the early 1970's and find the ensemble in splendid form; slow movements, in particular, are deeply considered and ensemble throughout is near-perfect. The engineers provide a warm ambience without sacrificing clarity; at all times the four instruments are clearly audible.
The Quintets derive from the late 1980's, and were taken down at live concerts. Three distinguished violists participate in two Quintets apiece. The interpretations are, in a word, magnificent. These musicians clearly appreciate the intricacy of Mozart's craftsmanship no less than his profound, and profoundly unsettling, expression of the human condition with all its ambiguities and paradoxes. The Guarneri and their distinguished guest violists also cultivate a fully conversational style, in which each performer responds to the others in dialogic fashion. In other words, these are genuine chamber music performances, not occasions for five virtuosos to exhibit their talents (though there is no want of virtuosity when required; apart from one or two momentary intonational lapses, the playing is immaculate throughout). The three greatest Quintets (the C-Major, G-Minor and D-major) are given performances that approach sublimity, and once again the slow movements are presented as the heart of each work. The engineering is as fine here as with the studio recordings of the Haydn Quartets. There is plenty of hall ambience, though not so much as to muddy the textures, and there are no distracting audience noises.
In sum then, this distinguished set of Mozart chamber music that deserves to rank alongside the finest versions of the Haydn Quartets and Viola Quintets --including the Juilliard versions mentioned above, as well as those by the Amadeus, the Budapest, and the Pro Arte (the latter are classic performances from the 78-rpm era last seen in an early-1990's set from EMI). As usual with this new series from Sony, there is minimal documentation. But the music is the thing, and on that score listeners will not be disappointed. Warmly recommended, then, both to veteran collectors and to those looking for a "basic library selection."
Having been highly complimentary about the Dvorak set in the same series and less than impressed by their Schubert, I was unsure what to expect from this collection. However, the same classical restraint which hobbled their Schubert is far better suited to their interpretations of Mozart's chamber works: these are refined, elegant accounts which enoble the music through emphasising the long line of Mozart's melodic invention. I hesitated in giving them five and not four stars as I prefer a more assertive style of playing but fully appreciate the subtlety of the Guarneri here.
A previous Amazon.com reviewer has already provided some astute and comprehensive commentary on the performances and I see no point in replicating that as I agree with it. This is an excellent bargain, providing a very attractive programme of great works played in a slightly old-fashioned but deeply satisfying style.
comparative review of the Schubert Quintet D956 and I was not disappointed. It is now one of my treasured versions (with the Amadeus/Pleeth/DG and the Lindsays/Douglas Cummings/ASV). This Mozart box
possesses similar attributes. Technical skill and virtuosity, tonal richness, interpretive
depth (more textual digging than skimming). Also much warmth and compassion in phrasing.
They are a bit slower than the Emersons in the Quartets #s 14-19, but quick movements do
not drag, e.g #14/4, 17/1 and 4, 19/4 and quick quintet movements such as k515/4 and k614.1 and four. Third movements move and slow movements are serious and poetic, e.g.
k516/3 and 4(which I consided a double slow movement before the quick finale), K 515/2 and
593/2, 421/2 and 465/2. The Guarneris also oberve most repeats
This set reminds me most of the Quartetto Italiano's Mozart set-tonally luxurious, awash
in sheer beauty and without superficiality. In their Mozart at least, the Italiano did
not play too slowly.
Other peers in the Quartets: Amadeus/DG (minus many repeats); Lindsays/ASV; Smetana Quartet/Denon; Janacek Quartet/DG (#14 only); Emerson/DG (though their #s 21-23 are even better.
Other peers in the Quintets: Baryllis/Westminster/k174,406, 515, 516 and 593; Grumiaux
Ensemble/Philips; Talich Quartet/Calliope; Lindsays/ASV (including the Clarinet Quintet with Janet Hilton; Amadeus (in the
1950s version, k593/4 is misedited but corrected in their second version.
However, tempi in the slow movement of their k515 are rushed in their second
version of k515 but unrushed in their 1950s version; Juilliard/Sony (including the
Clarinet Quintet with Harold Wright)