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Sextets [Import]

Artemis Qrt/Various Audio CD

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Product Details


1. String Sextet from Capriccio
2. Piano Sonata in B minor Op. 1 (trans. for string sextet by Heime Müller)
3. Verklärte Nacht Op. 4

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vienna before it went serial, in excellent performances Oct. 28 2010
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Amazon's bare-bones listing doesn't indicate the remarkable features of this CD from 2006, which contains three post-Romantic sextets from Vienna, two of them transcriptions. Here's the program and the players:

Berg Piano Sonata, Op 1 (arr Muller)
Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht
R Strauss Capriccio - Prelude

Artemis Quartet (Natalia Prischepenko, Heime Muller vns Volker Jacobsen va Eckart Range vc) with Thomas Kakuska va Valentin Erben vc

The two added players are from the distinguished Alban Berg Qt., and they inspire the Artemis, an ensemble cut from the same cloth but a generation younger, to ultra-precise playing that is intense but still recognizably Viennese in style. There have been many fewer recordings of Schoenberg's original version of Verklarte Nacht than for the luscious arrangement he made for string orchestra. The latter is so voluptuous that I much prefer it, but here we get a super clean, detailed, unanimous reading. Those are great virtues, but I'm afraid the interpretation is too chilly to be really moving.

The Strauss transcription is taken from the Prelude to his opera Capriccio. We are in the same world as Verklarte Nacht, even though Strauss's music came decades later. The Sextet is so beautifully orchestrated in the original that a string sextet doesn't quite do it justice, but if you didn't know the opera, this is a striking piece because of its reminder of the composer's only major work for strings, the ineffable Metamorphosen.

Still in the realm of lush post-Romanticism waiting for the birth of serialism is the Berg Piano Sonata Op. 1. As different as strings are from the piano, this is a lovely shift in mood and tone. I can't say that I detect much variety moving from one track to the next, so I'd advise listening to this CD in more than one sitting. Taken in segments, it's an impressive disc.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transfigured indeed! Sept. 20 2009
By George Mott - Published on Amazon.com
This is an excellent recording and the interpretations are lush and romantic -stressing the Brahmsian influences on the piece. It is interesting to compare it with, say, the Hollywood Quartet's version from the 50s which approaches the piece as modern music -the Artemis play it with drama and poetry. I particularly liked the fin-de-siécle portamento in the "am griffbrett" passages after letter N in the score. The recording itself is immaculate without being recorded too close -contrary to another review here there is no heavy breathing. In fact we seem to be hearing entirely different recordings. I listen with Stax electrostatic earphones and they pick up everything but there is nothing extraneous on this recording. I like the pairing of Verklärte Nacht with the sumptuous Strauss Capriccio sextet and the curious but interesting transcription of Berg's piano sonata.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Atrocious recording Aug. 18 2009
By James E. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
with loud breathing noises by at least 2 players all the way through, mars what would otherwise be an acceptable disc.

One player in particular seems to hold their breath while playing and between measures take a big inhale through their nose, sounding like a loud sniff.

Also the last measure of the title piece is a lamely interpreted ending for such a luminous and powerful composition, (as well as sounding dissociated with what was played before it: poor editing?).

This turkey should have been scrapped if they didn't have time to re-record it.

It's a pity amazon does not allow negative stars as this disc is torture.

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