Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz [Vienna] Schubert|
Schubert: Quartet No.15; Mozart: Adagio & Fugue In C
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Excellent Ensemble Work from a Group of Musical Individualis
M. C. Passarella | Lawrenceville, GA | 07/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Schubert's last string quartet is either burdened or liberated by the "heavenly length" that Schumann praised in the Ninth Symphony. If you're new to the work, listening to it requires some patience, especially if your idea of Schubert's quartet style comes from familiarity with his concise, closely argued "Death and the Maiden" Quartet. But if you live with the Quartet No. 15 for a while, you come to appreciate it as representative of the epic scope and grandeur of Schubert's late style. It's also a fascinating example of Schubert's typical harmonic restlessness; the last movement often turns from a major to a minor key as quickly as you would turn on a light.
The current performance benefits from some of the risk taking that musicians engage in when performing live. No effects are unduly exaggerated, but there is a special expressiveness that comes with playing for an appreciative audience. Other performances are perhaps more refined; I recall hearing ones by the Tokyo Quartet and Quartetto Italiano that were models of refinement though lacking the ardor displayed on this Sony disc.
There are some outsized musical personalities among the players here, and it is certainly a tribute to their musicianship that in this performance they bridle individuality to the extent that excellent ensemble playing is never in question.
The sound itself is good despite the fact that extraneous noises, from audience and players themselves, occasionally intrude. And the Mozart is a nice bonus; originally written for, I believe, a musical clock, it works quite well in string quartet arrangement and is given a robust performance here. Very recommendable."
J. Gabrielson | Seattle, WA | 07/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Look no further for the best. This CD was highly recommended on the rec.music.classical newsgroup a while back. You won't be disappointed."