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Media Type: CD
Title: QT STR 1 (CM)/2 (AM)/3 (B-FLAT)/QNT PNO (FM)/&
Street Release Date: 10/14/2003
Exquisite music performed with exquisite artistry
R. W. | Oregon | 05/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All the passion, majesty, pathos, and soul of his symphonies is in these 10 works of chamber music by Brahms:
3 string quartets; 2 string quintets; 2 string sextets; a quintet for piano, 2 violins, viola, and violoncello; a trio for piano, clarinet, and violoncello; and a quintet for clarinet, 2 violins, viola, and violoncello.
All this wealth of extraordinary music is in a 5 CD set, performed by one of the finest chamber music ensembles in the world, with the added artistry of Christoph Eschenbach (piano), Cecil Aronowitz (viola), and Karl Leister (clarinet).
One CD is 50' 36 in length, 2 are in the low 60's, and 2 are in the low 70's.
I have an inexpensive CD player, but this music emerges from it with the sharpness of etched glass, the smoothness of warmed honey, and the softness of rivers of silver in moonlight.
This is music to celebrate the joy and the pathos of life, played with soul, sensitivity, and power. Buy it and treasure this gift to yourself."
Mastery and joy
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 12/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
Because they lasted such a long time and toward the end didn't play at their best, I found reasons to overlook the Madeus Qt. But in this 9-CD set of the complete chamber music of Brahms, there are some sublime performances--I would especially point to both String Sextets, for example. In every instance the style of the Amadeus is full of vibrancy and joy, and their ensemble isn't baased on technical perfection but rather a kinship of musical taste and feeling (this puts them poles apart from the Emerson Qt., for me at least). I also love the Brahms chamber performances on Sony with Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, emanuel Ax, and friends, but this DG set is altogether sweeter and more lyrical.
Since Amazon neglects to list the additional players who join the Amadeus for the works that aren't soely for a string quartet, here's the run-down from Tower:
1. Quartet for Strings no 1 in C minor, Op. 51 no 1 Ensemble: Amadeus String Quartet
2. Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 51 no 2 Ensemble: Amadeus String Quartet
3. Quartet for Strings no 3 in B flat major, Op. 67 Ensemble: Amadeus String Quartet
4. Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34 Ensemble: Amadeus String Quartet Performer: Eschenbach, Christoph
5. Quintet for Strings no 1 in F major, Op. 88 Ensemble: Amadeus String Quartet Performer: Aronowitz, Cecil
6. Quintet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 111 Ensemble: Amadeus String Quartet Performer: Aronowitz, Cecil
7. Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in A minor, Op. 114 Performer: Leister, Karl; Eschenbach, Christoph; Donderer, Georg
8. Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op. 115 Ensemble: Amadeus String Quartet Performer: Leister, Karl
9. Sextet for Strings no 1 in B flat major, Op. 18 Ensemble: Amadeus String Quartet Performer: Aronowitz, Cecil; Pleeth, William
10. Sextet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 36 Ensemble: Amadeus String Quartet Performer: Aronowitz, Cecil; Pleeth, William
Classic recording--Repeat omissions unforgivable
Kelly Dean Hansen | 09/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This recording was such a definitive introduction to the Brahms quintets and sextets (included on the DG complete edition) that the extraordinarily unfortunate omission of the exposition repeats in the Op. 18 sextet and the Op. 111 quintet (especially the latter, which has a glorious first ending and return--thus they have here cut ACTUAL MUSIC that Brahms wrote) have been glossed over and forgotten. I'd like to contact Martin Lovett, the last surviving member of the Amadeus, to ask him why they made such an egregious and unforgivable decision that mars such a glorious and classic recording.
If you want to hear what the repeats sound like, the Verdi Quartet with guests from the old Melos Quartet has just released a CD on Hänssler of these VERY TWO pieces that include the repeats (Op. 18 and Op. 111). Once you hear how awesome the repeat of Op. 111 is, if you've only known this recording, you will put a hex on Norbert Brainin's grave for omitting it (it was surely his decision as quartet leader)."
Just a "heads up!"
Wyote | Seoul | 12/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just want to warn anyone as brain-dead as I turned out to be that the recordings of the 3 string quartets included here are exactly the same recordings contained in Brahms: The String Quartets/Dvorak: Quartet, Op. 96.
They are very good recordings, of course, but one copy is enough.
(When you start making mistakes like this, is it a sign that you own too much music?)
So which should you buy? Well, I would get this 5-disc set because it is still a good deal--the quintets, sextets and clarinet music are all very good. In particular, the recording of Brahms' piano quintet in F minor here, with Eschenbach at the piano, is very highly recommended by people who would know.
And I personally would listen to Brahms' clarinet quintet five times, the 2nd sextet three times and the piano quintet in F minor at least twice for each time I listened to Dvorak's 13th string quartet--as nice as it in fact is.
You can get the Dvorak quartet, which is on the other edition but not here, elsewhere. In fact, Dvorák, Tchaikovsky, Borodin: Quartets by the Emerson String Quartet comes highly recommended to me--so highly that I've decided to purchase it relatively soon to compare to the Amadeus, which I've been enjoying. The Emerson's Dvorak has a slightly better reputation, but of course there's no accounting for taste.
(Evidently the answer to the parenthetically posed question above is an emphatic "No!")"