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Intimate Voices

Emerson String Qrt Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 16.53 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. I. Un Poco Andante-Allegro Molto Ed Agitato
2. II. Romanze: Andantino
3. III. Intermezzo: Allegro Molto Marcato-Piu Vivo Scherzando
4. IV. Finale: Lento-Presto Al Saltarello
5. Ved En Ung Kunstners Baare, Op.58
6. I. Andante-Allegro Molto Moderato
7. II. Vivace
8. III. Adagio Di Molto
9. IV. Allegretto (Ma Pesante)
10. V. Allegro

Product Description


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Scandinavian Gems - Masterpieces of Chamber Music July 9 2006
By Classicalfan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Emerson String Quartet ("ESQ") brings elegance, grace, smoothness, flair and fire to these two string quartets, both of which are masterpieces of chamber music.

The ESQ, now playing together for over 20 years, deliver a seamless and superlative performance with a very clear sound that gives immediacy to the beautiful passages in these string quartets. This CD is just as powerful and moving as the ESQ's earlier, 1986 recording of Dvorak's American Quartet, Tchaikovsky's First Quartet, and Borodin's Second Quartet, even though these two string quartets are not nearly as well known. These two works radiate with passion, energy, beauty, and lyricism.

The Grieg string quartet has not only lyricism but urgency, depth, and intensity. In fact, this quartet, especially the first movement, is refreshingly different from what is often associated with the sound of Grieg, whose music, Debussy once stated, sounded to him like "bon bons wrapped in snow."

The thickly chordal, almost orchestral sonorities of the Grieg quartet shine in the hands of the ESQ, who make the most of the changing moods of this piece, alternating between its feelings of tension, lyricism, and spirited energy. The last movement in particular is an infectious virtuoso dance.

The sudden stops and starts of the Grieg quartet, which caused controversy and negative commentary when the work was first premiered, are dramatic, invigorating, and performed with flawless precision. The slow second movement (Romanze: Andantino) has more of the graceful lyricism that Grieg admirers will be familiar with. Yet, even in this passage, there are sudden tempo changes and a taut excitement that alternates with a sweet, dancelike melody, giving this work a sense of drama.

The Sibelius quartet has five movements and is also quite moving and powerful, ending with a passionate, fast-and-furious roller-coaster ride that is a breathtaking pleasure to listen to.

The 3:42 composition by the Danish composer, Carl Nielsen (1865 - 1931), is beautiful and interesting. It was performed at Nielsen's funeral in the Copenhagen Cathedral, 21 years after he had composed it in honor of a deceased friend. The 3-page booklet essay is detailed and informative.

I have listened to these beautiful Scandinavian gems several times and each time has been a delightful and stimulating experience. Very highly recommended. Total Playing Time = 63:41.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magnificent Program Oct. 9 2008
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Edvard Grieg completed just one string quartet in 1878 leaving one other unfinished and one lost at his death. He is quoted to have aimed at "breadth, flight of imagination and, above all sonority," and the quartet is proof of his success. The quartet has an exuberant start and reminded me more of Dvorak than Grieg. The second movement is a Romanze that begins with a bucolic melody and develops into a dance-like tempo. The third movement is an Intermezzo and picks up the light and playful feel from the prior movement. The Finale is exuberant with agitated passages. The quartet is a tuneful work with some outstanding writing for the instruments.

The Andante lamentoso by Carl Nielsen was originally written for string quartet and double bass or string orchestra. However, as the double bass is used to reinforce the cello the work can be played effectively by a quartet alone, as it is here. The work is titles "At the Bier of a Young Artist" and it was written for the early death of a young painter named Oluf Hartmann; it was also played at Nielsen's own funeral. It is a very compact poignant work that is very intense.

The quartet of Jean Sibelius carries the name "Voces intimae" which serves as the album title. The quartet was written during the winter of 1908/09 - just before the Fourth Symphony. During this period Sibelius was undergoing surgeries for throat cancer which is possibly reflected in the Adagio. The quartet is in five movements, beginning with a movement that, like so much of his music, seems to express the grandeur of a northern landscape. The Vivace that follows is fleet and graceful and is followed by a somber Adagio that is the heart of the quartet. The Adagio begins quietly and slowly builds to become more agitated before retuning to a more serene, but reflective, calm. The Adagio is followed by an Allegretto characterized by a dance-like melody. The Finale begins with a graceful melody and slowly becomes faster ending at a break-neck tempo.

This is a magnificent disc beautifully recorded and played.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emerson Quartet is Fabulous!!! Nov. 7 2006
By L. Orta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Excellent recording, I have been a fan of this group, this an outstanding recording, not a lot String Quartets have recorded this Grieg String Quartet, but this recording is perfect and breathtaking. The Sibleius Intimate Voices is amazing too. This recording is highly recomended if you are a Grieg or Sibelius fan or just love Chamber Music ..just Listen and Enjoy!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Hot" Nordic Chamber Music March 30 2007
By D. Lindauer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderfully enjoyable disc---all the more so, since it features music with which casual classical music listeners may not be familiar. The Grieg Quartet is tuneful and very much in the spirit of the Brahms string quartets. The Sibelius is much subtler music than I'm used to hearing from the Finnish master: one could say "more intimate", but since his quartet is sub-titled "Intimate Voices" that evaluation becomes somewhat superfluous. The Nielsen was too shot to make much of an impression on me, and I beleive that the inclusion of one of Nielsen's stringquartets (he wrote 4) would have balanced the disc better: 3 great Nordic masters---3 string quartets. A very fine disc (and well deserving of its recent Grammy award).
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Taste of the Nordic Spatial Sounds, Performed Immaculately Aug. 5 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Emerson String Quartet continues its fine reputation both on the concert stage and in the recording studio as evidenced in this creatively programmed music by Nordic composers. The concept is intelligent on many levels, not the least of which is the manner in which each of the three works compliments each other.

Despite the prolific output of Sibelius he wrote only one string quartet and for many the work is too dark and difficult to call for further hearings. But in the capable hands of the Emerson Quartet the Sibelius is a haunting, moody, intensely absorbing work. In contrast to the Sibelius the, again, sole string quartet by Edvard Grieg is delicately rewarding, rich with well-developed melodic lines, and endlessly creative in moods and movements. The brief work by Carl Nielsen is far different from his symphonies and tone poems: this is a piece, readily accessible, with as penultimate a Romantic style as anything written in this period.

The inner communication among the Emerson players is as sensitive as we are likely to hear. They make these relatively unknown works seem like standard repertoire, so assured are their performances. This is a CD of 'intimate voices' by composers well known in other areas of composition. It is a true find! Grady Harp, August 06

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