Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Among the greatest
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 12/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find myself unable to praise the ABQ enough in repertoire like the Schubert quartets. This studio recording, here on an import pressing, dates from 1979 and is different from their later live recording on EMI. It's common for this group to issue both live and studio versions, and although the concert readings feel more spontaneous at times, their musicianship is so phenomenal that their studio work is beyond criticism.
What I most admire in the ABQ is their ability to modernize the traditional Viennese style, keeping its flowing, expressive quality while presenting a leel of precision unknown to European quartets before. It's often remarked that these four string players sound like a single musician, so perfectly doe they match in tone, phrasing, and expressive detail. That osunds mechanical--as applied to the Emerson QT. it often us--but the ABQ plays form the heart.
Here, in Schubert's famous "Rosamude' quartet #13 and the less well known but lovely Quartet #9, they don't attack too hard like the Guarneri, or too soft like the Tokyo, or keep a cool aloofness like the Emersons. All three of those grou[s also gave us fine recordings, but on this CD one hears an extra degree of virtuosity and finesse. The readings are not far form the later ones on EMI, but in one regard--not taking such a fast pace in the 'Rosamune' them in the second movement of that quartet--they are more convincing the first time out. It must be said that their EMI 'Death and the Miaden' Quartet #14 (coupled with the 'Rosamunde' quartet) is even more magnificent, and yet anyone who owned just this CD would be more than satisfied."