MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

  2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

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

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


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

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
The RIAS Amadeus Quartet Recordings - Volume 2
String Quartet No.14 in D minor, D.810 ‘Death and the Maiden’ (1824) [37:42]
String Quartet No.10 in E flat major, D.87 (1813) [21:23]
String Quartet No. 9 in G minor, D.173 (1815) [20:29]
String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D.804 ‘Rosamunde’ (1824) [30:44]
String Quartet No.15 in G major, D.887 (op. posth. 161) (1826) [43:23]
Amadeus Quartet
rec. 1950-64, Siemensvilla, Berlin-Lankwitz by RIAS
AUDITE 21.428 [79:42 + 74:13]

The second tranche of RIAS recordings of the Amadeus Quartet concentrates on another composer most dear to the group’s collective heart, Schubert. It is therefore much less extensive than the Beethoven box which was almost complete in its reach (see review); this set, by comparison, has only two CDs. The Amadeus performed regularly for RIAS during the quartet’s Berlin visits, of which there were many. The earliest Schubert to be set down for the expert engineers was the Op. posth. G major, D.887, recorded in June 1950. The most recent is the G minor, D.173, taped in December 1964. There are five quartets, and they include Death and the Maiden and Rosamunde.
 
As in that Beethoven set we are confronted by an infusion of a parallel discography, an appendix of broadcast material to the main body of the quartet’s studio, commercial discography. And it has to be said that there are very few striking deviations from expected expressive norms in these five quartets. Tempi are often very similar, and the music’s development is largely a mirror of the studio performances, so that when there is a deviation it seems like a vast anomaly. I can really only cite the slow movement of D.87 which the Amadeus play for RIAS in a much slower and more prayerful way than in their later studio inscription. The RIAS way has just a hint of hymnal piety about it. Otherwise the quartet performance has sufficient charm in the outer movements and burst of vigour in the Scherzo. The 1956 Rosamunde is very similar indeed to the 1951 studio recording and maybe it’s only in the bringing out of the inner voicings that you can tell that the adrenalin of a live performance generates slightly more heat – that ability to balance the quartet so well is also a RIAS technical matter, of course. Throughout, the balance and sound is extremely fine.
 
The only salient difference between the RIAS and studio Death of the Maiden concerns the finale, which is taken slower in Berlin than in the commercial LP. It makes little real difference as the performance itself convinces however they take it; there is a rich, ripe tone from top to bottom and the interpretation is searching and wholly convincing on its own terms. The broadest performance is that of D.887 but, again, speeds never drag and there is a wholly communicative interplay at work and a very special sound world that the foursome captures. It elevates these performances, and their studio confreres, to the status of being amongst the finest Schubert quartet performances of the 1950s.
 
If you have the group’s studio inscriptions you will not find that there is any real interpretative divergence from these RIAS broadcasts. They are too close in time, and the group’s tonal qualities remain consonant. Broadcast material from a decade later would have shown lengthening shadows, but here the quartet is near its peak. As I said, the recording quality and subsequent re-mastering is first-class, as are the booklet notes.
 
Jonathan Woolf

Masterwork Index: Schubert string quartets