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Takacs Quartet: Bartok - String Quartets 2, 3 & 6

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

List Price: CDN$ 38.88
Price: CDN$ 33.35
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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Universal Music Canada
  • Release Date: May 20 2008
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B000FOR9XW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,319 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Top Customer Reviews

By David M. Goldberg TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 26 2013
Verified Purchase
Bartok’s 6 string quartets, and Shostakovich’s 15 works in the same genre, have been compared with Beethoven’s 16 by many musicologists. I do not agree, as they never ------ whether early, middle or late --- reach the sublime heights attained by the last-named, but I would agree that they are the next-best that we have, and they stand head and shoulders above most string quartets that have seen the light of day since the dawn of the 20th Century. I first became acquainted with Bartok’s quartets when I purchased what I believe were the first two vinyl sets to be released in the ‘60s, recorded by the Vegh and Julliard ensembles. Over the years, I have added performances by the Fine Arts and Vermeer Quartets, and I have to say that I prefer all four to the present performances. Here I seem to be a voice in the wilderness, for their CDs have been highly praised by the critics of both Gramophone and Penguin, as well as by 3 out of 4 reviewers. Let me focus on what I perceive as their shortcomings. First and foremost, Bartok’s dense atonal scores come across initially as not much more than pure noise, but with patience and persistence, it does not take long to realize that buried quite deep in the welter of sound are haunting, wistful, cute or downright jolly melodies that one can recognize and actually hum. Listening to these works becomes an intriguing game of “spot the tune”, but to do so, the playing has to be of a very special quality that allows these melodies to sing through even when they are competing with the rough and rustic background in which they are embedded. I did not find sufficient clarity and due sense of emphasis required for this achievement in the playing of the Takacs. Not that they played badly, but simply that they did not play as well as performances that I prefer.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa7eca9ec) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0b0b7d4) out of 5 stars BELA BARTOK, STRING QUARTETS NO. 2,3, 6: The Triumph of the Takacs Quartet Nov. 21 2014
By Daniel B. - Published on
Verified Purchase
The string quartets of Bela Bartok are in the blood of the Takacs players, but when Edward Dusinberre joined the ensemble as their first violinist, he admits to the camera, they were not even in his fingers. That changed. These are, in that phrase reviewers love, definitive recordings. The camera work is excellent - all four players are clearly visible so that you can follow the interplay of the musicians and S-E-E the music as it unfolds. They chose to begin with No. 3., the most innovative, concentrated and avant-garde work of the series. It lasts barely 16 minutes of supercharged sound. Their performance, which is intense but never out of control, makes me think of Beethoven's Grosse Fugue. I have a special fondness for the Second Quartet. The violist admits the deep sorrow this work conveys is so pervasive it shut down their rehersal session after one play through. You may think ahead to Shostokovich's String Quartet No. 8 for depth of feeling. My favorite Bartok quartet is No. 4, which will certainly be recorded in the future. However, the Takacs perform No. 6 with such depth and understanding it now rivals the fourth for me. A melancholy MESTO theme opens each movemengt until in the fourth movement it is fully developed. This quartet was inspired by Bartok's sense of profound grief over his mother's death, and you will find the music evokes a mood of reconciliation over whatever sorrow you carry within. It is music that heals the wounded spirit.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0b0b9fc) out of 5 stars Jacket misinformation Oct. 12 2006
By Richard W. Yiengst - Published on
Verified Purchase
Great quartet playing with perfect give and take among the players. How-

ever the jacket as shown on Amazon is incorrect. The disc does not contain

Quartet #4. Just 3,2, and 6. Be aware of this if you order. Bartok is not easy listening, but it is worth the effort to listen, or some moving

experience will be missed.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0b0bc60) out of 5 stars Outstanding Oct. 26 2006
By Peter T. Sipos - Published on
Verified Purchase
Highly recommended.

The playing is exciting and flawless. The sound (DTS and 2 channel) is perfect. The video is "high definition", though I'm not sure what is meant by that, since the disc isn't either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. But whatever the technical meaning, the picture is crisp and full of color. The backdrop is a richly decorated victorian room, a feast for the eyes. The camera-work is varied but not too busy - just perfect. The introductory interviews are insightful and entertaining.

As far as Bartok's quartets (2, 3, and 6 on this recording), that's beyond the scope of this review. For anyone not familiar with them, a Google search is in order.

This is a VERY musically and visually satisfying disc. I hope they release the other three Bartok quartets soon.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0b0bf90) out of 5 stars A Totally Biased Comment Aug. 1 2008
By C. Oran Ball - Published on
Verified Purchase
The reviews by Mr. Sipos and Mr. Blackburn are underwritten here. But, further:
Anyone who knew the Bartok quartets only through LPs, tapes, and
CDs, such as, heretofore, I, has a wonderful revelation forthcoming!
I have been listening to these marvelous compositions for well over
half a century. Now, in one blown-away sitting, the sixth quartet
has been remade for me! (You can tell that my bias is entire.)
I do believe that any who try this DVD will never judge Bartok's music
in the same way again!! I will clap at every showing!
HASH(0xa0b0f1e0) out of 5 stars If you are looking for a inroad to music that seems to have abandoned the more easily accessible melodies and harmonies of earli Jan. 20 2015
By vinceg - Published on
Verified Purchase
This DVD opened the world of 20th century "classical" music to me. Watching musicians play the quartets and communicate with each other somehow transformed disjointed sounds into music. If you are looking for a inroad to music that seems to have abandoned the more easily accessible melodies and harmonies of earlier times, give this a try. The Takacs play it as good or better than anyone (that from reviews I've read, since I don't have the background to make the claim). I came across the DVD several years ago but just bought a couple more copies as Christmas presents to hopefully help some friends appreciate a whole new sound world.