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Thread: Ravel Quartet - Can't identify performer

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    Default Ravel Quartet - Can't identify performer

    Hello, I have mp3s of a version of Ravel's quartet that happens to be my favorite even after having listened to over 50 different performances spanning from the 1920s to present. I don't remember where it came from, maybe from a friend, but I cannot figure out who the performer is. I've tried SoundHound and it comes up with the Shanghai Quartet which is not correct. I've attached an mp3 of the first movement. If anyone can help identify this I would be SO SO grateful!!

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    My first thought was Alan Berg but it ain't them. It's not Quartetto Italiano (that's what Soundhound told me) or the Emersons either. Hmm. I will investigate further.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Had a good listen (I have a few of these) and it sounds rather like the Hagen Quartet. Hope I'm right. Check the timings on the other movements.
    https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4378362

    268x0w.jpg
    Last edited by Merl; Jul-19-2018 at 13:57.

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    Smile

    No alas... close though, thank you so much for looking!! The one I've posted is slightly quicker in the opening phrase. Also the timings don't work out for the other movements:

    1. Allegro moderato: Tres doux: 8:07
    2. Assez vif: Très rythme - 6:04
    3. Tres lent: 8:15
    4. Vif et aigte: 5:04

    Sounds like a nice recording though

    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Had a good listen (I have a few of these) and it sounds rather like the Hagen Quartet. Hope I'm right. Check the timings on the other movements.
    https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4378362

    268x0w.jpg

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RavelRavel View Post
    No alas... close though, thank you so much for looking!! The one I've posted is slightly quicker in the opening phrase. Also the timings don't work out for the other movements:

    1. Allegro moderato: Tres doux: 8:07
    2. Assez vif: Très rythme - 6:04
    3. Tres lent: 8:15
    4. Vif et aigte: 5:04

    Sounds like a nice recording though
    It's a cracker.

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    I have many recordings of the Ravel String Quartet. But it would help me if you could give the timings for each movement. (Right now the closest for the first movement appears to be the Ysaye & Shanghai Quartets.)

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    Thanks Joquin13, I actually posted the timings just above but here they are again:

    1. Allegro moderato: Tres doux: 8:07
    2. Assez vif: Très rythme - 6:04
    3. Tres lent: 8:15
    4. Vif et aigte: 5:04

    I have copies of the Ysaye and Shanghai recordings and unless they've recorded it more than once, it is not them unfortunately. Thank you so much for helping out!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    I have many recordings of the Ravel String Quartet. But it would help me if you could give the timings for each movement. (Right now the closest for the first movement appears to be the Ysaye & Shanghai Quartets.)

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    Hi there. I think it may be this recording. The performances sound very similar to me and the timings of the movements are very close. See what you think. Good luck!

    Whoops. I didn't see you had this one already. Sorry about that.
    Last edited by sbmonty; Jul-19-2018 at 18:36.

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    Sorry, my mistake. I'll check my recordings, and get back to you.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jul-19-2018 at 20:01.

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    Okay, I've gone through my recordings, on LP & CD, and additionally looked at the timings for a bunch of other Ravel string quartet recordings on the internet, which I know about, but don't own. First, I should point out that the timings on the internet may not always be reliable, as I've noticed some variances between different listings. For example, the Melos Quartett of Stuttgart has slightly different timings on alternate listings, which appear to vary by a number of seconds for each movement. (Although I suppose that could have something to do with the "Original image bit processing" remaster versus the old DG LP.)

    Melos Quartett—

    8:09, 6:18, 9:05, 4:49
    8:10, 6:21, 9:07, 4:53

    Which only adds to the difficulty. However, it doesn't look like the Melos Quartett is the group on your recording.

    Unfortunately, I didn't come up with any exact match for the timings, so I understand your frustration, especially since it does sound like a very fine performance. Here are the closest that I could find, time-wise (though I didn't compare the actual performances to your recording):

    1. Amati String Quartet—8:02, 8:48, 8:11, 4:59--the Amati Quartet is close, within seconds for each movement, except for the 2nd movement, which is way off. Which makes me wonder if "8:48" isn't a mistake? Especially since the timing is radically different from any other quartet on record for this movement, all of whom play the 2nd movement in less than 7 minutes. If so, then the Amati Quartet may be worth looking into. Another reason they may be a match is that the 1st violinist on your recording occasionally uses slight violin slides, which isn't something you normally hear from modern ensembles. That makes me think it's a recording from the 1960s or 1970s (the sound quality is too good for 1950s mono), and the Amati Quartet made their recording in 1971-72.

    Edit: this sounds reasonably close, in the first movement at least: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCSY...&frags=pl%2Cwn

    Other older vintage recordings that had reasonably close timings:

    2. Tokyo Quartet (1st analogue Columbia recording)—8:11, 6:02, 7:48, 5:14--Have you compared the Tokyo's 1st recording to yours?
    3. Juilliard Quartet--RCA Living Stereo: 7:57, 6:20, 8:40, 4:58--I don't think it's the Juillard Quartet because I don't hear out of tune playing on your recording, which is something I've come to expect from the Juilliard Quartet. However, I don't know the Juilliard's earlier RCA Debussy/Ravel recording, nor their later Sony recording, either.
    4. Academica Quartet—8:00, 6:03, 8:40, 5:27
    5. Sequoia Quartet—8:33, 6:07, 8:28, 5:28

    Here are the 5 digital era recordings that came closest (among those I looked at, or had in my collection):

    6. Live from the Marlboro Festival (recorded at the Isabella Stuart Gardiner museum in Boston)—8:12, 5:56, 8:26, 5:14--considering that this is a live concert recording, there could be a difference in timings between the listings given on the internet and the actual CD (due to possible applause, their entrance onto the stage, etc.). But I don't own the recording, so I can't check the CD.
    7. Quatour Hermes—8:19, 6:17, 7:59, 5:01
    8. Shanghai Quartet—8:07, 6:14, 8:41, 5:22
    9. Emerson Quartet—8:09, 5:54, 8:32, 5:13
    10. Orpheus Quartet—7:52, 6:18, 8:21, 5:31

    Edit: The Tokyo String Quartet's 2nd digital recording, made in 1995 for RCA Victor, is also fairly close, especially in the last two movements: 8:24, 5:54, 8:10, 5:04

    Sorry, but that's the best I could do.

    Here are the ones that I ruled out:

    X--Parkanyi Quartet—8:59, 6:42, 9:24, 5:08
    X--Orlando Quartet—9:04, 6:46, 9:31, 4:52
    X--Melos Quartett—8:09, 6:18, 9:05, 4:49
    X--Quartetto Italiano—8:33, 6:32, 9:03, 1:24
    X--Ysäye Quartet—8:05, 6:20, 8:52, 7:20
    X--Cleveland Quartet—8:43, 6:23, 9:03, 4:54
    X--Alban Berg Quartet—7:41, 6:52, 9:21, 7:5
    X--Hagen Quartet—8:06, 6:29, 8:56, 4:46
    X--Arcanto Quartet—8:00, 6:36, 8:55, 4:41
    X--Chilingirian Quartet—8:37, 6:21, 8:39, 5:36
    X--Carmirelli Quartet—7:56, 6:28, 8:44, 4:27
    X--Allegri quartet—8:00, 6:25, 9:44, 5:19
    X--LaSalle Quartet—7:34, 6:14, 8:23, 4:40
    X--Dante Quartet—8:14, 6:22, 9:40, 5:11
    X--Juilliard Quartet—Sony: 8:58, 6:32, 9:20, 5:27
    X--Bartok Quartet—7:39, 5:54, 4:97, 4:59
    X--Brodsky Quartet—8:40, 6:27, 9:40, 5:34
    X--Fine Arts Quartet—9:12, 6:22, 8:56, 5:15
    X--The Curtis Quartet—8:14, 6:13, 9:36, 5:17
    X--Cuarteto Casals—8:25, 6:22, 9:16, 5:04
    X--Petersen Quartet—7:16, 5:53, 7:51, 4:29
    X--Orford Quartet—7:30, 5:43, 7:41, 4:58
    X--Budapest Quartet--8:41, 6:24, 9:41, 5:25
    X--Quatour Ebene--8:50, 6:29, 9:47, 4:40
    X--Borodin Quartet (original members, Chandos Historical)--8:37, 6:19, 10:23, 5:03
    X--Talich Quartet--7:40, 5:46, 8:22, 4:45
    X--Belcea Quartet--7:49, 6:02, 8:35, 5:27
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jul-20-2018 at 00:44.

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    Hmmm.... recording sounds somewhere between late 50s and 70s, maybe American rather than European. That's a wild guess. Sounds like the kind of sound the Fine Arts used to get. Or the Budapest in fact. Sounds quite a lot like the Budapest on a very hasty listen.

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    One more--I can't find the individual timings of the movements, but could it be the Parrenin Quartet's 1969 recording for EMI? It's about the right vintage, I think... Have you ruled it out?


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    Quote Originally Posted by les24preludes View Post
    Hmmm.... recording sounds somewhere between late 50s and 70s, maybe American rather than European. That's a wild guess. Sounds like the kind of sound the Fine Arts used to get. Or the Budapest in fact. Sounds quite a lot like the Budapest on a very hasty listen.
    I agree. The 1st violinist uses a violin slide or two (similar to the Budapest's 1st violinist, but maybe not quite as pronounced). So I don't see it as being recorded much after the early to late 1970s, & given the excellent sound quality, I'd be very surprised if it was a mono or even early stereo recording. So, my best guess is that the recording was made sometime between 1965 and 1978-ish.

    Timing-wise, it's not the Budapest or Fine Arts Quartets, as their timings are different (see my list above).

    The 1st violinist for the Borodin Quartet also occasionally uses violin slides. I ruled out the Borodin's Chandos Historical recording--due to the different timings, but there's also a BBC Borodin recording (and possibly another more recent Chandos or Meloydia recording?), which needs to be ruled out, as well.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jul-20-2018 at 00:31.

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    And the answer is... the SHANGHAI QUARTET!!! The recording is from 2001. The recording I have is of lower quality mp3 files (I really wish I knew where they came from); the actual recording has a much higher fidelity. I am so so grateful to you all, especially to you Josquin13, you put a lot of effort and thought into this and I am extremely appreciative. I've been listening to this recording for maybe about 15 years (I guess not long after it was released) and it's always been my favorite as I've already said. It's so wonderful to know who it is; now I can dig in further to their recordings. I was aware of them and have some of their Beethoven recordings (which are excellent), but now I'm gonna get everything!!

    https://delosmusic.com/recording/bri...nghai-quartet/

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    Okay, I've gone through my recordings, on LP & CD, and additionally looked at the timings for a bunch of other Ravel string quartet recordings on the internet, which I know about, but don't own. First, I should point out that the timings on the internet may not always be reliable, as I've noticed some variances between different listings. For example, the Melos Quartett of Stuttgart has slightly different timings on alternate listings, which appear to vary by a number of seconds for each movement. (Although I suppose that could have something to do with the "Original image bit processing" remaster versus the old DG LP.)

    Melos Quartett—

    8:09, 6:18, 9:05, 4:49
    8:10, 6:21, 9:07, 4:53

    Which only adds to the difficulty. However, it doesn't look like the Melos Quartett is the group on your recording.

    Unfortunately, I didn't come up with any exact match for the timings, so I understand your frustration, especially since it does sound like a very fine performance. Here are the closest that I could find, time-wise (though I didn't compare the actual performances to your recording):

    1. Amati String Quartet—8:02, 8:48, 8:11, 4:59--the Amati Quartet is close, within seconds for each movement, except for the 2nd movement, which is way off. Which makes me wonder if "8:48" isn't a mistake? Especially since the timing is radically different from any other quartet on record for this movement, all of whom play the 2nd movement in less than 7 minutes. If so, then the Amati Quartet may be worth looking into. Another reason they may be a match is that the 1st violinist on your recording occasionally uses slight violin slides, which isn't something you normally hear from modern ensembles. That makes me think it's a recording from the 1960s or 1970s (the sound quality is too good for 1950s mono), and the Amati Quartet made their recording in 1971-72.

    Edit: this sounds reasonably close, in the first movement at least: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCSY...&frags=pl%2Cwn

    Other older vintage recordings that had reasonably close timings:

    2. Tokyo Quartet (1st analogue Columbia recording)—8:11, 6:02, 7:48, 5:14--Have you compared the Tokyo's 1st recording to yours?
    3. Juilliard Quartet--RCA Living Stereo: 7:57, 6:20, 8:40, 4:58--I don't think it's the Juillard Quartet because I don't hear out of tune playing on your recording, which is something I've come to expect from the Juilliard Quartet. However, I don't know the Juilliard's earlier RCA Debussy/Ravel recording, nor their later Sony recording, either.
    4. Academica Quartet—8:00, 6:03, 8:40, 5:27
    5. Sequoia Quartet—8:33, 6:07, 8:28, 5:28

    Here are the 5 digital era recordings that came closest (among those I looked at, or had in my collection):

    6. Live from the Marlboro Festival (recorded at the Isabella Stuart Gardiner museum in Boston)—8:12, 5:56, 8:26, 5:14--considering that this is a live concert recording, there could be a difference in timings between the listings given on the internet and the actual CD (due to possible applause, their entrance onto the stage, etc.). But I don't own the recording, so I can't check the CD.
    7. Quatour Hermes—8:19, 6:17, 7:59, 5:01
    8. Shanghai Quartet—8:07, 6:14, 8:41, 5:22
    9. Emerson Quartet—8:09, 5:54, 8:32, 5:13
    10. Orpheus Quartet—7:52, 6:18, 8:21, 5:31

    Edit: The Tokyo String Quartet's 2nd digital recording, made in 1995 for RCA Victor, is also fairly close, especially in the last two movements: 8:24, 5:54, 8:10, 5:04

    Sorry, but that's the best I could do.

    Here are the ones that I ruled out:

    X--Parkanyi Quartet—8:59, 6:42, 9:24, 5:08
    X--Orlando Quartet—9:04, 6:46, 9:31, 4:52
    X--Melos Quartett—8:09, 6:18, 9:05, 4:49
    X--Quartetto Italiano—8:33, 6:32, 9:03, 1:24
    X--Ysäye Quartet—8:05, 6:20, 8:52, 7:20
    X--Cleveland Quartet—8:43, 6:23, 9:03, 4:54
    X--Alban Berg Quartet—7:41, 6:52, 9:21, 7:5
    X--Hagen Quartet—8:06, 6:29, 8:56, 4:46
    X--Arcanto Quartet—8:00, 6:36, 8:55, 4:41
    X--Chilingirian Quartet—8:37, 6:21, 8:39, 5:36
    X--Carmirelli Quartet—7:56, 6:28, 8:44, 4:27
    X--Allegri quartet—8:00, 6:25, 9:44, 5:19
    X--LaSalle Quartet—7:34, 6:14, 8:23, 4:40
    X--Dante Quartet—8:14, 6:22, 9:40, 5:11
    X--Juilliard Quartet—Sony: 8:58, 6:32, 9:20, 5:27
    X--Bartok Quartet—7:39, 5:54, 4:97, 4:59
    X--Brodsky Quartet—8:40, 6:27, 9:40, 5:34
    X--Fine Arts Quartet—9:12, 6:22, 8:56, 5:15
    X--The Curtis Quartet—8:14, 6:13, 9:36, 5:17
    X--Cuarteto Casals—8:25, 6:22, 9:16, 5:04
    X--Petersen Quartet—7:16, 5:53, 7:51, 4:29
    X--Orford Quartet—7:30, 5:43, 7:41, 4:58
    X--Budapest Quartet--8:41, 6:24, 9:41, 5:25
    X--Quatour Ebene--8:50, 6:29, 9:47, 4:40
    X--Borodin Quartet (original members, Chandos Historical)--8:37, 6:19, 10:23, 5:03
    X--Talich Quartet--7:40, 5:46, 8:22, 4:45
    X--Belcea Quartet--7:49, 6:02, 8:35, 5:27
    That's some serious research, Josquin13. Kudos for all that effort. I know how long that stuff takes (ages).


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