Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Alexander Borodin, Bedrich Smetana|
Borodin: Quartet No. 2; Smetana: Quartet No. 1 "From My Life"
Playing on the matched set of Paganini Strads form the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Cleveland Quartet shows that Americans can do the music proudly, too. Their reading is well-paced and thoughtfully phrased, a... more »
Playing on the matched set of Paganini Strads form the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Cleveland Quartet shows that Americans can do the music proudly, too. Their reading is well-paced and thoughtfully phrased, and while their sound is lighter than that of the Borodin ensemble, it is handsomely captured in Telarc's 1988 recording. Smetana's E Minor Quartet (From My Life) makes for a desirable coupling. --Ted Libbey
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Romantic String Quartet of Two Great Composers
rodboomboom | Dearborn, Michigan United States | 07/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is 57 minutes of beautiful, flowing string music composed by one Russian and the other Czech.Wanting more of Borodin after long love affair with his Nocturne, I searched for a quality recording of the Quartet in No. 2. This Cleveland Quartet recording is clear and played on a matched set of Stradivarius instruments once belonging to Paganini.Borodin is remarkable individual, who worked productively in both fields of chemistry and music. This quartet no. 2 was dedicated to his wife in honor of their 20th anniversary. No wonder many of us find this music no hauntingly romantic.Smetana has long been of interest to me, now I enjoy this quartet as well. He supposedly composed this as his personal response to life's tragedy for him, which declined to deafness and insanity. It was a programmatic movement, from the opening youthful mood to the second (a polka) of youthful dancing, to the largo of first love, to the haunting Finale, a lengthy holding high pitched note, which reminded him of the oncoming deafness. Interesting that in first private performance, Dvorak performed the viola part.Will get much play from me. Delightful stuff!"
Forget the Borodin, it's all about Smetana!
rodboomboom | 05/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm sorry to say, but I absolutely cannot stand Borodin's music, particularly his chamber music. THat aside, the Cleveland Quartet does a beautiful interpretation of this awful quartet; they actually make that piece tolerable.However, for those of you who like the Borodin (I'm unsure why :-)...you'll love it.Bad bit aside, the Smetana is absolutely brilliant. It is a wonderful programmatic piece of chamber music written by an amazing (yet underrated) composer - it really is a little known gem. And the performance of it is spectacular - they truly do bring out the rich Romanticism that is present in all of Smetana's works.So, buy this for the Smetana - you will not regret it!"
Beautiful and Romantic Mush
eido | 03/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone seeking the very romantic string quartet music, this is the perfect CD-- romantic almost to the brink of schmaltz, yet irresistibly lyrical. The Borodin is a fluffy soufflé, rich and sugary. You may know the Nocturne as "And This is My Beloved" from Kismet. Certainly, it may be over-the-top romanticism, and my better half says, "resist!" yet I find myself indulging it in again and again.Smetana's quartet is one of the few programmatic sting quartets. In it, he musically depicts various events from his life-- his romantic moods, his love of dancing (embodied in the polka of the second movement), his first love, and, in the finale, the deafness which began to appear when he was 50 years old. The Cleveland quartet's performance of these works is splendid-- nice and clean, and they don't overdo the schmaltz. The only better way to experience this music is to hear it played live in a dimly lit cafe while sipping an espresso and nibbling a croissant."