GUARNERI STILL SHINES
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find this recording of the A minor and D minor Shubert quartets to be outstanding. In their later years, they go a little slower than they once did, but to the service of the music. Get this recording. you won't be disappointed. The 2nd mvmt of the A minor alone will make you glad you bought it. And the Menuet of the same quartet would surely gain Schubert's approval."
Spellbinding and luminous
Emanuel E. Garcia, MD | Philadelphia, PA USA | 11/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These two beautiful quartets, performed by superb musicians who have collaborated for over three decades, are spellbinding. The Guarneri Quartet has poured its long experience into every note and what results is tremendously moving, astonishing. What a realization of Schubert!"
The Guarneri mellows with time -- and the recorded sound is
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sorry, but I don't hear quite all the wonderful things described by the Amazon reviewer. For quite awhile the Guarneri has been running on automatic, their energy in decline, their freshness worn thin. Happily, these late remakes of the 'Rosamunde' and "Death and the Maiden" quartets that were among the Guarneri's best recordings on TCA from years past benefit from the group's years of experience. On this occasion they rise to something close to their former glory. The most ravishing aspect of this CD is Arabesque's phenomeal sound, among the best I've ever heard for a string quartet. We leap right in the midst of the music-making, and every nuance is captured with intimacy and impact. Also, the group's technical command hasn't deteriorated -- tis was always a quartet of virtuosos.
So I can see why ohters rate this a five-star recording. If every movement were as evocative as the slow movement of #14, I'd agree. But the minuets feel slow and a little bland (#13) or edgy and rough (#14). The greatest Schubert quartet playing, as exhibited by the Busch and the Alban Berg Qt., is a marvel of poetry, affection, dramatic contrast, and mystery. Those are subjective words, of course, so other ears may disagree. In any event, I enjoyed this outing by the Guarneri more than any of their recordings for twenty years and hope they keep playing in the same vein, particularly with such gorgeous sonics."