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Thread: Best recording/s of the Beethoven String Quartets.

  1. #91
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    Well, it might seem "normal" (or abnormal, in reality) to us, but let's always realize that the audience for classical recordings is a somewhat THIN one, and that can mean that a great Toscanini or Furtwangler (or, name your favorite) recording/reissue can go OUT of print, just as fast as the recordings of a 10th-rate pop singer can go UP, in print, into the millions. …. BTW, sometimes MP3 recordings "ain't" THAT bad, esp. if they keep excellent recordings AVAILABLE, for those who appreciate them - wouldn't you think?

  2. #92
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    Agreed, and I don` think mp3 recordings are so bad either. I download mp3, and then burn them to a disc. this way I don`t make a big investment and can hear almost any thing I want to hear. As for sound---good enough.

  3. #93
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    (good enough) - Surely! .. and we know that there were MANY recordings, esp. vocal, that were made in the days of ACOUSTIC recordings, before the electrical (ones). Acoustical, vocal recordings were the FOUNDATIONS that the various volumes of the great reissue - The Record of Singing/EMI - used. …. Pristine Classical still offers MP3 recordings, in it's exemplary reissue program, and these … to my ears …. are entirely appropriate.

  4. #94
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    Has anyone heard or bought the recent complete quartet set by the Miro Quartet? Some positive reviews out there, I might spend some xmas money on it. I like the cover too

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  6. #95
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliante View Post
    Has anyone heard or bought the recent complete quartet set by the Miro Quartet? Some positive reviews out there, I might spend some xmas money on it. I like the cover too
    Ive been speaking to Itullian about this set. Whilst I like it, I find it a little too gentle at times. It's extremely well-played and I particularly enjoyed the middle quartets but I like a little bit more vigour and swagger in my LVB SQ cycles. However, it's a fine set, undoubtedly... I'd just choose others over it (Vegh, Takacs Italianos, Alexander 2, for example). As a footnote, I find the sound balances odd on this set. Can't quite put my finger on why, I just find the sound stage a little unrealistic. Listen to this and then listen to the Kodaly Quartet set and you'll hear what I mean (that's an excellent set too). Naxos really nailed the sound for that cycle.
    Last edited by Merl; Jan-08-2020 at 18:53.

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  8. #96
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrravioli View Post
    what's the flaw of Talich version?

    Nothing whatsoever!!!

    Some may think the Talich set (now on La Dolce Volta, formerly on Calliope) lack a bit of drama. But they more than make up for that with more "Innigkeit" than any other set I have heard. They are probably my favourite set.

    Alongside them my other three favourite full sets are the Gewandhaus, the Italianos, and the later Vegh. I would not be without the Busch late quartets for anything, and I have several other sets I am extremely fond of.
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Jan-08-2020 at 21:21.

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  10. #97
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    When I just want to hear Beethoven pure and simple, I turn to the Italiano. They have the sort of clean, balanced, warm, classical sound that just meets the ear in a pleasant way. My favorite overall is probably Takacs- wonderfully expressive and full-bodied. I also love the stereo Vegh (a wholly unique, earthy sound that you don't get elsewhere, though sometimes too lightweight), Juilliard (some highly creative playing especially in the late quartets), and Lindsays (big, thick, opulent tone). And of course, the Busch is absolutely essential in the late quartets. I have the Talich, Alexander, and Tokyo on deck to check out when I get into a Beethoven mode.

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  12. #98
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    I have just finished listening to the 6 opus 18 quartets by the Miro.
    I agree with Merl. A bit to soft. The interpretations are good but the sound
    is claustrophobic.
    It is also on the dry side and very closely recorded, which has some benefits but lacks some passion. It sounds more analog than digital to me.
    The sound of the recording most resembles the Talich set. Close and dry.
    An interesting listen so far, but would not be in my top sets
    If you like the Talich set ( i don't), you might like the Miro.
    I'll listen to the middle and late tomorrow.
    just mho
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Being a SQ fanatic I got the complete QI box a couple years ago even though they weren't my favorite ensemble... but once my ears adjusted to that glossy sound I have come to like them as much as the Vegh and Talich - they have a little more dynamic punch at times where it doesn't hurt... but I like the others when I want a more classical sound...
    Last edited by philoctetes; Jan-12-2020 at 19:08.

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    Senior Member Helgi's Avatar
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    I've been dipping into different recordings on Spotify and one that came as a pleasant surprise, as nobody seems to talk about it, is the Cypress String Quartet.

    They recorded an entire cycle in 2009-12 and what I've heard of it is very good; excellent sound, characterful but not over-the-top playing. Op. 132 III is the one that seems to make or break it for me in terms of interpretation, and theirs is very good.

    I'll concede that my opinion is not that well informed, so I'm interested to know what you guys think about it.

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  18. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Nothing whatsoever!!!

    Some may think the Talich set (now on La Dolce Volta, formerly on Calliope) lack a bit of drama. But they more than make up for that with more "Innigkeit" than any other set I have heard. They are probably my favourite set.

    Alongside them my other three favourite full sets are the Gewandhaus, the Italianos, and the later Vegh. I would not be without the Busch late quartets for anything, and I have several other sets I am extremely fond of.
    That nearly sums it up for me, too, But I do also think highly of the Borodin Quartet's set and also the Budapest Quartet's.

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  20. #102
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helgi View Post
    I've been dipping into different recordings on Spotify and one that came as a pleasant surprise, as nobody seems to talk about it, is the Cypress String Quartet.

    They recorded an entire cycle in 2009-12 and what I've heard of it is very good; excellent sound, characterful but not over-the-top playing. Op. 132 III is the one that seems to make or break it for me in terms of interpretation, and theirs is very good.

    I'll concede that my opinion is not that well informed, so I'm interested to know what you guys think about it.
    Nowt wrong with Cypress. Nice set. I'm currently on the Goldner cycle in the car. Initially I couldn't make my mind up about it. The playing is splendid and I like how the Goldners traverse the set in different ways but there are just better cycles out there, for me, at the moment. Highly enjoyable though.

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  22. #103
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Currently listening to the Fine Arts quartet cycle. Very good, not necessarily a favourite of the future, though.

    Anyone here know the recording dates? Got them as a download, with no documentation, and I like to know these things....! Are they ALL 1969???

    TIA
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Feb-03-2020 at 22:28.

  23. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Currently listening to the Fine Arts quartet cycle. Very good, not necessarily a favourite of the future, though.

    Anyone here know the recording dates? Got them as a download, with no documentation, and I like to know these things....! Are they ALL 1969???

    TIA
    Yes, very good. FAQ also has some excellent Bartok.
    I don't live in the past,
    there's no future in it.

  24. #105
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Currently listening to the Fine Arts quartet cycle. Very good, not necessarily a favourite of the future, though.

    Anyone here know the recording dates? Got them as a download, with no documentation, and I like to know these things....! Are they ALL 1969???

    TIA
    Ignore the reviews that state that the recordings were all 1969. That's rubbish, especially considering the full set was released in 1968. The whole cycle was probably recorded between 1962 and 1966 but documentation is sketchy and Everest (original label) and Discogs give the recording year of some of the quartets as 1959 (and later, confusingly, as 1963). If anyone can pass on any more details then fire away. I only have the remastered download and recording dates aren't given. What I can work out is that the late quartets were released first and some could be from 1959, the early quartets were released next (around 1964) and the middle quartets came last in 1967. In 1968 the full set was released for the first time and re-boxed and re-released in 1969.
    Last edited by Merl; Feb-04-2020 at 20:05.

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