Concert Favorites - Favorite Concert!
Eric Olson | Detroit, Michigan | 03/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These performances of two favorite concert works, "The Quartet for the End of Time," and "Contrasts," by Oliver Messiaen and Bela Bartok, respectively, are by far the finest on record to date. As they will unlikely ever be surpassed, this is the only recording you will ever desire to hear and the only recording you'll need. As to be expected from clarinetist David Shifrin, his playing rises well above the workmanlike, and is artistic in every way. The colors he acheives does well to show why his instrument is the most important wind instrumet, and he takes advantage of its possibilities. Shifrin's collegues from Chamber Music Northwest also deserve special attention. Ik-hwan Bea's beautiful violin tone balances that of the clarinet. Pianist William Doppmann expertly captures the famous Messiaen chord-colors. Cellist Warren Lash shines in his solo movement in the Quartet. All performances are fresh, with an amazing sense of unity and rhythmic tightness and polish that few ensembles ever achieve. Highly Recommended"
Way too short
Redgecko | USA | 11/16/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Three out of the eight movements feature a soloist. Movement three features the clarinet, movement five features the cello and movement eight is mostly a violin solo. These movements should be played slowly and be as long as possible. On this recording, movement three is great, and at 9 minutes it is about the longest clarinet solo available for this quartet. The other two movements, however, are way too short. Movement five is 4 mintes shorter than the EMI release and movement eight is 3 minutes shorter than the Haitnik rendition. It's not because repeats were not taken, it's because it's played way too fast which ruins the mood of this austere work. Get the RCA Victor recording with Serkin on piano or the Haitnik. Even the Naxos is better than this.