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Schubert: String Quartet No. Import

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 23 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: MD & G
  • ASIN: B0000021F7
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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1. Str Qt In a D804 Op.29: Allegro Ma Non Troppo
2. Str Qt In a D804 Op.29: Andante
3. Str Qt In a D804 Op.29: Minuetto. Allegretto/Trio/Minuetto Da Capo
4. Str Qt In a D804 Op.29: Allegro Moderato
5. Qt In g/B D18: Andante/Presto Vivace
6. Qt In g/B D18: Menuetto/Trio/Meneutto Da Capo
7. Qt In g/B D18: Andante
8. Qt In g/B D18: Presto
9. Ov In B flat (Fragment) D470: Allegro

Product Description

Product Description

Two legendary Busch Quartet 1930s HMV recordings of Beethoven’s string quartets are featured on this disc. Led by Adolf Busch and acclaimed as perhaps the finest interpreters of the composer’s work in that idiom, their recordings of the Quartet in C major no.3 ‘Rasumovsky’ and the Quartet in C sharp minor no.14 leave the listener in no doubt as to why they enjoy such exalted status among chamber music groups of their era. "Their understated yet subtle and lively interpretations avoid the faux-sublime and so wear extremely well. [...] Adolph Busch's warm lyricism is unfailing." - American Record Guide

This disc, Volume 2 of the series, is best heard backwards. The half-minute fragment doesn't tell us much about anything, being too brief. But the very early Quartet, D. 18, is a touchingly sincere work of the very young Schubert (apparently about age 13). Its ending is extremely awkward, but other parts of the score are surprisingly affecting for such early work. This piece should definitely not be heard after the great masterpiece in A Minor, which makes it seem very trivial by contrast. The Leipzig Quartet's playing of these pieces is very Schubertian--melodically oriented and with plenty of overt drama. --Leslie Gerber

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Music Speaks for Itself Jan. 8 2008
By J. Grant - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know if there are words to describe how good the Busch Quartet really were. Simply put, they are to Beethoven's string quartets what Schnabel is to the piano sonatas. This is the best recording of Op. 131 that I have ever heard. Dutton's CEDAR remastered sound is very good, especially for 1930's recordings. A couple of fine choices for complete cycles, in case you don't want to wait to buy each seperate disc, are the Vegh Quartet, and more recently, with superb sound, the Takacs. Of course, there are numerous other perfectly good cycles out there (Alban Berg, Emerson, Quartetto Italiano & Talich to name a few that are easily obtained), those two just happen to be my favorites.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the greatest ever Oct. 22 2012
By A Musician in Training - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As I listen to this I am more and more convinced that the era of great instrumental recordings and great performing/performing musicians was Schnabel and the Busch Quartet. To those who are not a fan of Schnabel (ha! that won't last for long) due to whatever ridiculous reason (for example he makes a noticeable mistake in the first movement of opus 106, but still plays the entire sonata greater than anyone else could ever dream of playing it) do not find that any reason to ignore the Busch Quartet (I just like to compare the two because of their historical proximity, and by the fact that Schnabel's Beethoven set is the greatest ever made, and the Busch quartet's Beethoven recordings are the greatest ever made). Now you will notice that it their set is incomplete. You might despair at first, but you will soon enough realize that "its riches far outweigh any complete traversal of the set". If my respect for Beethoven was not greater than that I have for the Busch quartet I would be perfectly fine in ignoring those this immortal quartet didn't record. Anyways, people that are reading this are hopefully aware of the Busch quartet's genius, so I will conclude this sloppily written review by saying by first saying, that technically these recordings are the greatest ever made of any piece of music, due to the fact that they are the greatest recordings of the greatest works (the late quartets with the addition of some others) of (I like to think) the greatest composer, and that the remastery job down by Michael Dutton is unbelievable: it literally sounds better than the recording of the digital era.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sterile Manhattan Quartet Shostakovich Aug. 1 2014
By jt52 - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Dmitri Shostakovich's work composed after the 1930s Terror arises from deep despair, a society terrified and decimated, traumatized by a horrendous war and a murderous government, its control apparently unshakable after 1945. His sarcasm and bitterness must be hard to recreate in the New York City in 1990 and the Manhattan Quartet hasn't succeeded in conveying what Shostakovich meant to say in this recording of the 4th and 5th quartets, which I think of as some of the artist's finest work. Their interpretation stays in a safe lane of staid modernism. While I mostly enjoyed listening to this accomplished performance, I found it to be an expressive blank.

Besides the wrongheaded aesthetic lying behind the Manhattan Quartet's interpretation, what sonically goes wrong here? Several things. The two quartets in question offer quite a few opportunities for coloristic effects but these are generally eschewed by the Manhattan. Take the finale of the 4th quartet, with a bouncing accompaniment that gives the performers the ability to create a very attractive sound texture. This opportunity is only seized briefly before the Manhattan Quartet returns to a homogenized sound. The same comment applies to the shrouded sound of the 4th quartet's opening allegro, which almost seems happy. This deep dark texture is overlooked by the Manhattan Quartet. One of the most magical moments in these two very strong quartets comes at the end of the Andante, which is unfortunately not realized fully.

A related flaw is that the first violin isn't prominent enough, which for example interferes with presenting the structural cohesion of the Andantino of the 4th quartet. I know the Andantino pretty well but found it hard to follow and grasp in this recording, although I did find that the ending, with its inflected sixth, was done beautifully. In general, the Manhattan Quartet maintain an equality between the four instruments that helps homogenizes the texture. Those are my observations based on listening but it's hard not to draw an inference and relate the bland overall approach to the absence of any strong musical personality within the group. That's my guess. Beyond the technical flaws, I see an absence of passion and sterile, vitiated note-spinning as the problem underpinning this release.

Finally, the sound engineering found here isn't awful but emphasizes the treble in a way that does the ensemble's sound no favors. In short, the performance is texturally homogenous, underemphasizes the lead melodies and sounds bright due to the engineering.

I compared this recording with a very fine recording from the 1960s by the Taneyev Quartet of St. Petersburg and the good but not outstanding 4th & 5th from the complete set of Shostakovich quartets from the Brodsky Quartet of the UK and found those simply better than the Manhattan's effort, on par technically and in the case of the Taneyev full of inspiration and emotion. This is a shame because the Manhattan players are accomplished technically and I did find this disc enjoyable in a detached way. But there's more here to be had from these two terrific compositions.
4.0 out of 5 stars DSCH SQs 4-5: The Manhattan Used to Be My Favourite, Not So Much Anymore, BUUUT... March 12 2015
By 21st Century Reviews - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was my introduction to DSCH SQs. I think the combination of 4 and 5 together sealed the deal, and I found the Manhattan to be perfect conductors. Now, I've read the below criticism, and gone back, and, yes, I do agree that the Manhattan are no longer my go-to for 4-5 (Moyzes, Atrium, respectively), but I still enjoy their way here. They have a particular way with Shosty that's very communicative, and one hears their joy.

I'd say, if you want 4 and 5 together, there's really nothing wrong hear. Yes, they are "decent" performances- the sound is as has been criticized but still is altogether pleasant and digital.

At first I was going to argue the criticism, but, in 5, for instance, the Emerson do get quite a nut turning; the Manhattan are more, well, from New York City,- I know that sounds bad (and the Emerson aren't Russian or anything), but, they do have a modern, city-like interpretation, I think.

Well, the Manhattan are going for pennies, that's one thing in their favour. I have always liked their 2-10- their tight sound is a bit tight for the later works. Pick up this disc, and 6-8, and 9-10. I don't care what anyone says, give them a shot!
5.0 out of 5 stars buy it June 23 2013
By Terry Fugate - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The genius of the Manhattan String Quartet's approach is not only their wonderful restrained virtuosity (many have brutally overplayed these pieces), but that they recorded the quartets in sequence, so that one does not have to flip back and forth between various CDs to hear them in order. The recording quality is superb