One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


alternatively Crotchet

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
String Quartet No.18 in A major K464 (1785) [32:38]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
String Quartet No.12 in E flat major Op.127 (1825) [35:37]
Amadeus Quartet
rec. Funkhaus. Saal 2, WDR Cologne, February 1956
MEDICI ARTS MM007-2 [68:26]



The Amadeus recorded both quartets twice in their commercial discography; K464 in 1951 and 1964 and Op.127 in 1963 and again in 1978. There must be a number of other broadcasts slumbering in radio and other archives. Their performances in concert were almost invariably more communicative and that much more forceful and both these 1956 examples demonstrate the fact if not graphically then subtly.
 
One would hardly expect graphic differences in any case. A cursory check of tempo correlations shows how stable the Amadeusís conceptions remained, how little subject to vagary or caprice.† What is true is that thereís more of a sense of occasion in the Cologne broadcast than in the two studio recordings of K464, especially in the outer movements. The 1964 recording was rather studio recessed but itís not this alone that accounts for the greater sense of immediacy and tactile interchange, which the quartet brought to bear in Cologne. The timings remained almost identical in the last three movements. The scherzo is fine, with a particularly good trio and plenty of shifting colour patterns. In the finale we have the advantage of hearing Schidlof really playing out in a way that studio conditions seemingly didnít encourage or balance engineers suppressed or Schidlof himself didnít feel acceptable in terms of balance. Here it sounds fine Ė assertive without being aggressive.
 
The Beethoven Op.127 receives a powerful and involving performance. Tully Potter is right to characterise it as intense. Superficially it too differs little in correlative or comparative terms from the commercial readings but it differs in intensities of attack and in a sense of greater weight. Such things can lead to brief moments of executant frailty and one such occurs in the slow movement when Braininís intonation wanders off course. But that is a small price to pay for the level of corporate sonority, for the consistently high level of expressive control and the acute sense of pacing and architectural control wielded in each movement.
 
So even if you have one, or other, or both of the studio recordings made over the years by the Amadeus you may still wish to hear them in the studio, in excellent sound, on tour, when the temperature was slightly higher and the results even more consistently involving.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 



 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

 

 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.