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Thread: My personal Beethoven string quartet journey....

  1. #151
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    I listened to a couple of samples of the Pascal set and liked it.
    Can't wait to get it.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  2. #152
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Received the new Julliard set today. It sounds pretty good to me so far.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  4. #153
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Last edited by Itullian; Feb-29-2020 at 08:14.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  5. #154
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^About these sets I recently picked up..........
    The Belcea is an excellent set. Good sound , good performance.

    The Juilliard is very good performance, leaves a little to be desired sound wise.
    First violin a bit shrill.

    The Miro is good performance wise, but the sound is not good at all. Very dry and congested sounding.

    The Pascal blew me away. I love the playing and the sound is very good mono.
    This set goes into my top tier. Full and rich sounding with good cello presence.
    And the playing makes every passage interesting. I heard things I never heard before. Good transparency. And the interpretations are wonderful.

    My ranking of the four.
    1 Pascal
    2 Belcea
    3 Juilliard
    4 Miro

    just mho of course.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  7. #155
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    ^^^ Glad you're enjoying the Belcea set. I've liked them for a while now, very satisfying all round. Especially liked them in the "honorary late quartets", ie Opp.95 and 135.

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  9. #156
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    ^^^^^^About these sets I recently picked up..........
    The Belcea is an excellent set. Good sound , good performance.

    The Juilliard is very good performance, leaves a little to be desired sound wise.
    First violin a bit shrill.

    The Miro is good performance wise, but the sound is not good at all. Very dry and congested sounding.

    The Pascal blew me away. I love the playing and the sound is very good mono.
    This set goes into my top tier. Full and rich sounding with good cello presence.
    And the playing makes every passage interesting. I heard things I never heard before. Good transparency. And the interpretations are wonderful.

    My ranking of the four.
    1 Pascal
    2 Belcea
    3 Juilliard
    4 Miro

    just mho of course.
    Whilst I agree about all the other sets, Itullian (although I'd rate the Belcea as slightly better) I can't agree about the Pascal recordings. Ive been listening to this set over the past few days and the sound is not nice (I find the violin shrill and the cello overbearing). The performances, whilst on the slower side, are good but internal balances are not great and the late quartets really suffer with 'smudging' of ensemble. If I was rating the 4 sets above I'd have Belcea at the top followed by Juilliard, Miro and Pascal. I get why you like them (there are some lovely inner details) but the overall soundstage is not good to my ears.

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  11. #157
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    I am wondering how much I would be missing out on if I got only the late quartets of the Alban Berg Quartett set, ie.:



    Most would agree that this ensemble's biggest achievement with Beethoven would be the late quartets, no? If I'm wrong on this I'd be more than happy to shell out the extra 10 bucks or so for the whole set, whenever the time comes.

  12. #158
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    I am wondering how much I would be missing out on if I got only the late quartets of the Alban Berg Quartett set, ie.:



    Most would agree that this ensemble's biggest achievement with Beethoven would be the late quartets, no? If I'm wrong on this I'd be more than happy to shell out the extra 10 bucks or so for the whole set, whenever the time comes.
    Nowt wrong with the ABQ set, I just prefer a few others but it's a classy cycle. For 10 bucks you'll be investing in a lovely cycle. Go for it, FMCS.
    Last edited by Merl; Feb-29-2020 at 21:23.

  13. #159
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Nowt wrong with the ABQ set, I just prefer a few others but it's a classy cycle. For 10 bucks you'll be investing in a lovely cycle. Go for it, FMCS.
    Remind me, which are your favorites, again? I know you like the Suske Quartett a lot, right?

  14. #160
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Remind me, which are your favorites, again? I know you like the Suske Quartett a lot, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    I have a helluva lot of cycles, FMCS, but I always come back to certain recordings slightly more often than others and Suske, Vegh (stereo) & Takacs do get more play. As much as I love other cycles too those 3 get the biggest airtime.
    Problem is though I go through moods so sometimes I really wanna listen to other sets I love like Alexander 2, Vermeers, Artemis, Belcea, Italiano. There really are some terrific cycles out there and we're spoiled for choice with so many.
    Last edited by Merl; Mar-01-2020 at 10:23.

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  16. #161
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Whilst I agree about all the other sets, Itullian (although I'd rate the Belcea as slightly better) I can't agree about the Pascal recordings. Ive been listening to this set over the past few days and the sound is not nice (I find the violin shrill and the cello overbearing). The performances, whilst on the slower side, are good but internal balances are not great and the late quartets really suffer with 'smudging' of ensemble. If I was rating the 4 sets above I'd have Belcea at the top followed by Juilliard, Miro and Pascal. I get why you like them (there are some lovely inner details) but the overall soundstage is not good to my ears.
    I guess I would agree Merl. The cello is a bit pronounced and the violin a bit thin.
    It's more a personal taste thing I guess. And mono sound always has its challenges. The cycle was revelatory to me in the details I heard, maybe because of the way the sound is. For others I should not recommend mono cycles. Thanks.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  18. #162
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Is it true that the Budapest Quartet set is in mono? I have a volume of it en route to me, it's the first two of the Razumovsky quartets, part of the "Essential Classics" series for Sony. I ordered it because it was going for $4 on Amazon brand new and figured it must be worth checking out. I know the entire set has its partisans, I've heard several call them the greatest Beethovenian SQ on record.

  19. #163
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure they released a complete mono cycle (in the 50s) and complete stereo cycle. They released some of the quartets much earlier, but I don't know if it was a complete cycle. (Ionarts says almost complete.)

  20. #164
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    I'm pretty sure they released a complete mono cycle (in the 50s) and complete stereo cycle. They released some of the quartets much earlier, but I don't know if it was a complete cycle. (Ionarts says almost complete.)
    Ah, OK. I didn't know that. Are they both on CBS/Sony? I'm pretty sure the one I have ordered is a stereo recording from the 1960s.

  21. #165
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Ah, OK. I didn't know that. Are they both on CBS/Sony? I'm pretty sure the one I have ordered is a stereo recording from the 1960s.
    Both on Sony (as are the earlier recordings).

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