Very sorry to hear that, Malx. Shingles is said to be an awful experience. I wish you a speedy recovery.
Yep, that really is a diverse collection of SQs but that's really good. I've not enjoyed every one of these but I don't expect to but at least I'm getting to experience a wide variety of works from the distant past and from more recently. I'm really enjoying this thread and the discoveries I've made due to my fellow stringsters on here.:guitar:Though I can't say I find the Nielsen quartet to be particularly memorable - I'm not willing to call it one of his masterpieces - I can't find anything at fault with it; it's a lovely piece and like the Grieg quartet, it has tangible folk roots but Nielsen's music is more "nuanced" sounding to me than the pure tunesmithery of Grieg. That is one of the things I love most about Nielsen - he never tries to do anything too grandiose, he's just integrating folksy vibes with a late Romantic/early modernist musical language. Even in the more epic works like the 5th symphony (which is one of my favorite 20thc symphonies) it's not bombast or pretentiousness at all. I think I will listen to his colorful Wind Quintet this afternoon, which I haven't heard in a while. For this quartet I couldn't detect too much difference in performing style between the Kontra and the (Young) Danish, but like Merl I have to give the edge to the Danish due to the Kontra's harsh recorded sound. I also listened to some of the old Erling Bloch, and enjoyed it very much. Good sound quality for the era and another one of those spontaneous, expressive, old-style performances that we don't see replicated very often it at all.
I will announce next week's quartet some time tomorrow! I'm really struggling on whether to pick a work that I know well and that is dear to my heart, or something that I would like to explore further and which may be more challenging to me. Probably leaning toward the latter, but I have to do some more sampling of various candidates...
And, now that we've completed the first "cycle" of nominations, for reference, here is the master list of quartets listened to so far:
02/23-03/01: Beethoven - String Quartet No. 14 (Vicente)
03/01-03/08: Britten - String Quartet No. 3 (flamencosketches)
03/08-03/15: Brahms - String Quartet No. 1 (Allegro Con Brio)
03/15-03/22: Schubert - String Quartet No. 15 (Enthusiast)
03/22-03/29: Haydn - String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 20/3 (Mandryka)
03/29-04/05: Smetana - String Quartet No. 1 "From My Life" (flamencosketches)
04/05-04/12: Shostakovich - String Quartet No. 4 (Josquin13)
04/12-04/19: Carter - String Quartet No. 3 (Bwv 1050)
04/19-04/26: Schnittke - String Quartet No. 2 (Portamento)
04/26-05/03: Lutosławski - String Quartet (Shosty)
05/03-05/10: Schumann - String Quartet No. 1 (sbmonty)
05/10-05/17: Korngold - String Quartet No. 2 (Merl)
05/17-05/24: Ravel - String Quartet (Eramire156)
05/24-05/31: Crawford Seeger - String Quartet (Knorf)
05/31-06/07: Hindemith - String Quartet No. 4 (Simplicissimus)
06/07-06/14: Kurtág - 6 Moments Musicaux for String Quartet (TurnaboutVox)
06/14-06/21: Lachenmann - Gran Torso (calvinpv)
06/21-06/28: Frank - Quijotidas (20centrfuge)
06/28-07/05: Ginastera - String Quartet No. 2 (Iota)
07/05-07/12: Mendelssohn - String Quartet No. 6 (DTut)
07/12-07/19: Gerhard - String Quartet No. 2 (Malx)
07/19-07/26: Grieg - String Quartet No. 1 (BlackAdderLXX)
07/26-08/02: Szymanowski - String Quartet No. 1 (starthrower)
08/02-08/09: Nielsen - String Quartet No. 3 (annaw)
Ive started checking my recordings out so here's my thoughts on some of the recordings I know well or own......
I've really never sampled recordings other than the Emersons' and I'm looking forward very much to doing so this week, within the limitations of my streaming service. I'll start with the Alexander Quartet, which has been mentioned on the Bartók SQ thread. I'm intrigued by the idea of harsh versus smooth or lyrical Bartók. It might turn out that the Emersons are harsh as ACB has noted they tend to be.
The Tatrai and Mikrokosmos are top of my 'to-hear' list, Mandryka (but not literally).Tatrai. I think Tatrai are a bit special in this one. More reflective than boisterous, but still tough and angular. Are Mikrokosmos similar? I will check one day this week.
Early Juilliard also good, there are some live ones around - good in a different way from Tatrai.
To that list on the image (they may be there and I may have missed them) -- I would add New Hungarian Quartet on Vox (Not the same as The Hungarian quartet on DG) and Keller.
The Vegh I've just listened to didn't have lousy sound so I'm wondering what I just heard. I'm gonna have to do some research.Jesus, Merl! You really get into it. I'm going to pass on this one even though I'm a big fan of Bartok. My head is stuck in the 19th century at the moment and mainly on piano. But when I do listen to Bartok's quartets it's usually Alban Berg or Takacs. And I like what I've heard from the Vegh's mono set despite the lousy sound.
They do have a stereo cycle which I haven't heard. Or maybe it's fake stereo? I think the Praga re-issue is fake stereo of their 50s cycle. The mono recordings I heard sound a bit boomy to my ears but they were issued on a cheapo label. Documents or Membran I believe. There was a stereo cycle from 1972.The Vegh I've just listened to didn't have lousy sound so I'm wondering what I just heard. I'm gonna have to do some research.