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Thread: Weekly quartet. Just a music lover perspective.

  1. #3736
    Senior Member StevehamNY's Avatar
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    You could get whiplash in here, going back and forth between the outer-wilderness Modernist and the beloved Classical. But I love it!

    I've got the LvB late quartets by:

    Vegh
    Mosaiques
    Takacs
    Italiano
    Borodin
    Emerson
    Berg
    Talich

    I'm looking forward to hearing the 130/133 again. Been a while, actually!

    (The other thing I love about this place: Nowhere else could I list eight different recordings of the same piece without getting a weird look!)

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  3. #3737
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    I hereby cast a weird look upon you Only 8 recordings of late quartets? You can hardly be a serious listener


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  5. #3738
    Senior Member StevehamNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreisler jr View Post
    I hereby cast a weird look upon you Only 8 recordings of late quartets? You can hardly be a serious listener


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  7. #3739
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I got stuck in today and went through some one-off performances like the Petersens, Ehnes, Hagens and Tetzlaffs. I followed this up with a few from sets in my cd racks (Kodaly, Lindsays, Lasalle, Suske and Artemis). Some of these will be resurfacing in my round up. I'd strongly advise anyone who needs to listen to quality recordings of this quartet to check out some of the links suggested by Jos in his excellent post. Needless to say a lot of those will feature in my final summation with the glaring exception of one particularly historical recording. . More fishing around in my cd racks to come tomorrow before I hit the rest of my shortlist via Spotify and my hard drive.
    Last edited by Merl; Aug-01-2021 at 23:20.

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  9. #3740
    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    My fav LvB qt. Takacs and Guarneri been my go to recordings - good opportunity to check out some other recordings

    Merl has his work cut out for him

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  11. #3741
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwv 1080 View Post
    My fav LvB qt. Takacs and Guarneri been my go to recordings - good opportunity to check out some other recordings

    Merl has his work cut out for him
    Which Guarneri, Bwv? RCA or Decca?

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  13. #3742
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    I listened to the Takacs recording last night. I think this recording, along with Op. 127 and Op. 131, represents the Takacs Quartet at their best. The big, thick sound, resonant group timbre and excellent audio quality are major pluses for the whole set, including this week's selection. They place the Grosse Fugue as the proper finale and follow it with the alternative finale. For me, this quartet has always been about the 1st movement, and the best performances of Op. 130 are the ones that keep it compelling and make sense of that opening movement, while walking the line between the ambiguity and clarity which one finds in the first movements of all of Beethoven's late string quartets and piano sonatas. Perhaps the reason I like to retain the Grosse Fugue as the finale is because the transition between the Cavatina and the Fugue is so jarring, it reminds me of the same jolting effect that's so successful in the transition between the penultimate and final movements of Op. 131. It's a highlight of this unusual, somewhat difficult work. It's not necessarily difficult, but movements II, III, and IV all seem to do the same thing and occupy the same space, that is, a light, dance-like movement which provides a brief respite between weightier material. The difficulty lies in the fact (or at least my opinion) that one movement would have been fine, but three consecutive movements of light music seems a bit much. So, we've arrived at that description again - is this essentially a Serenade? A Divertimento? A Baroque-style Suite? Let's just call it Opus 130 and enjoy it's originality, whimsical qualities, and unusual character before the profundity of Op. 131 and Op. 132 hits us like a ton of bricks.

    P.S. I believe one cannot be ambivalent about the Grosse Fugue; one either loves it or hates it. Thirty years ago, I would have probably said I hated it, however I now love it.
    "It should have worked." - Arthur Carlson

  14. #3743
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SearsPoncho View Post
    P.S. I believe one cannot be ambivalent about the Grosse Fugue; one either loves it or hates it. Thirty years ago, I would have probably said I hated it, however I now love it.
    I still need to listen to this movement more times before I can truly decide whether I really like it or not? And depending on the performance it can sound even more forceful and unrelenting. It's not as "pretty" as some of the other movements but it is fascinating to zone in on the counterpoint and all of the musical details going on in this complex piece of music. So far I've listened to the Tokyo, Yale, and Ebene recordings one time through but I'm just getting started.
    "In the beginning there was noise. And the noise begat rhythm. And the rhythm begat everything else." - Mickey Hart

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  16. #3744
    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    This is a golden opportunity for me to stop hating that crazy fugue thing

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  18. #3745
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    So far I have listened to three accounts of Op. 130 - the Busch, the Quartetto di Cremona and the Belcea - and, as I knew I would (I have listened to them all many times), loved all three. They each have much to offer and I cannot imagine preferring one over another. It is going to get more complicated as I have another seven accounts in my collection and know them all to be very good (I have been quite tough in purging my Beethoven quartet collection of any that don't give me a lot of pleasure).

    I love the Grosse Fugue but so far have played the quartets through with the less ambitious finale. The quartet is relatively benign and often lyrical which leads me to feel the Grosse Fugue, fine music though it is, does not quite fit the work. It seems too brutal and angry. Maybe I'll change my mind about that later in the week.
    Last edited by Enthusiast; Aug-02-2021 at 15:13.

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  20. #3746
    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Which Guarneri, Bwv? RCA or Decca?
    Had both, but prefer the later recording

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  22. #3747
    Member Clloydster's Avatar
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    What I will listen to, from my CDs and Apple Music:
    Vegh
    Kodaly
    Talich
    Smetana
    Alban Berg
    Mosaiques
    Italiano
    Takacs
    Tetzlaff
    Hagen
    Julliard
    Ebene
    Danish
    Brodsky
    Miro
    Emerson
    Artemis
    Taneyev
    Tokyo
    Guarneri
    Amadeus
    Budapest
    Suske
    Britten
    Busch

    Slow week here.

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  24. #3748
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    I have made a start today from the collection:

    Alban Berg,
    Suske,
    Hungarian (can't tell an untruth, that was yesterday evening),
    Tokyo (HM).

    I am playing all with the alternative finale - I find the grosse fugue doesn't gel for me as a finale but well played on its own thats a different matter.
    Last edited by Malx; Aug-02-2021 at 17:54.

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  26. #3749
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwv 1080 View Post
    Had both, but prefer the later recording
    The Decca performance is better for this quartet, IMO. Better slow movements.

  27. #3750
    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    Right now I'm listening to Alban Berg quartet and Grosse Fuge and not stressing out! They are the reason I've liked the late quartets forever (op. 127 & 135). Maybe that fuge is not so crazy after all, or I'm getting used to it

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