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Debussy: String Quartet in G minor / Ravel: String Quartet in F

Quartetto Italiano Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £19.80
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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Mar 2001)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Classics
  • ASIN: B000051YDA
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,036 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op.10 - 1. Animé et très décidé 6:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op.10 - 2. Scherzo (Assez vif et bien rythmé) 3:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op.10 - 3. Andantino doucement expressif 8:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op.10 - 4. Très modéré - Très mouvementé - Très animé 7:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Ravel: String Quartet in F Major, M.35 - 1. Allegro moderato. Très doux 8:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Ravel: String Quartet in F Major, M.35 - 2. Assez vif. Très rythmé 6:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Ravel: String Quartet in F Major, M.35 - 3. Très lent 9:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Ravel: String Quartet in F Major, M.35 - 4. Vif et agité 5:30£0.79  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By I. Giles HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This venerable recording by the Italian Quartet from 1965 was, for many years, the standard reference copy of both works either individually or as a coupling. One of the considerable virtues of this group of players was that they could always be relied upon to play in tune and to play with musicianship. The competition was not so strong as it is today as many of the alternative groups simply could not deliver accuracy in tuning (or even worse, the notes). This was rarely commented upon in review magazines at the time, a source of complete bemusement for me, but as one who was expected to play in tune I found listening to string chamber music almost beyond bearing for much of the time - except for this group.

Nowadays such matters are largely a thing of the past as technical standards have rocketed. This may be the result of shortage of orchestral places forcing fine players to seek other means of employment. It may just be that many young players find chamber music more suitable to their circumstances or taste. Whatever the reason, the standards are much higher these days and the Italian Quartet seems to have disappeared as a collectable, or respected ensemble.

However, this record, listed as one of the best 100 by the recording company, still deserves to be heard and seriously considered as a purchase. The playing is exemplary, the recording is excellent regardless of its age and the musicianship of these highly experienced players is still of the highest quality.

Even with so many really fine alternative modern recordings of these two works I would still suggest that this classic recording deserves listening to. As such it remains in my collection surrounded by several newer alternatives on both CD and DVD.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely valuable CD ! 21 April 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
DEBUSSY. Quartetto Italiano.

I arrived at Rome during 1950 and therefore I don't have an idea about the popularity and success of the new Italian Quartet in the UK as it had of course in Italy, and in the rest of Europe. I learned that in Summer 1945, four very young musicians from Northern Italy decided to play together: they were great friends and highly motivated. In their first performance in Milan included the Debussy Quartet that they continue to play for many years as a symbol showing signs of their permanent development. They became one of the great and better quartets of that century, attaining a rare perfection between Wilhelm Furtwangler teaching and heredity, the precision of German Romanticism, and the Latin feeling and emotion. Furtwangler transmitted them the richness of playing with new ideas and thoughts , which they carefully combined with their friendship, their natural purity, a certain shyness, their love for music and for perfectionism, to attain a tension charged with ideals. They continue to play together for more than 40 years.
Beethoven and Mozart were their strongest and best works and with the Debussy Quartet they obtained the composer`s sound, light, a continuity of transparency and opalescence: a perfect Beauty, as their dream was . Five stars for this exceptional CD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars summer evenings 1 Jun 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
what absolute perfection, the quartetto italiano are supreme,and i simply cannot fault either performance and recording, play it, open a bottle, sit down stroke the pussycat and just listen and allow your imagination to wander, as i`m sure it will.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very personal reading of these oft-recorded quartets 17 Aug 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Pairing Debussy and Ravel in their only string quartets is a cliche by now, and buyers have a wide range of choice. In terms of sheer virtuosity, no one has excelled the Alban Berg Qt., (EMI), who play with seamless technique and gleaming tone. but it all osunds a bit too efficient and impersonal. There's more atmosphere in the version by the Tokyo Qt., among others.

I listened to half a dozen recordings before settling on this one from the Quartetto Italiano (they were together for so long that you can get their historic mono recording of the smae music on EMI). The Quartetto doesn't try to sound airy, diaphanous, or particularly French. Instead, they give a presonal, uniquely phrased version that sounds as if each player is responding from deep feelings about the music. That's rare in performances of Debussy and Ravel, where the syle is more or less locked in. The miking is quite close, and although they lack the sheen of the Bertg Qt, the Quartetto Italiano deserve their reputaiton for making beautiful sounds.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars famous, & justly so 15 July 2007
By jsa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Julliard Quartet's readings of these famous quartets from the early days of stereo were reference recordings for decades. I owned them on vinyl for more than 30 years and never thought to make a change until the advent of cd, when I opted for the Guarneri Quartet's coupling. I was never really satisfied with the Guarneri's romantically-inclined approach, so a while back I bought the Vlach Quartet's disc, recorded in 1959 and still available on Supraphon. As it turns out, I wasn't very happy with their readings either (just not atmospheric enough) so I went shopping again and decided to purchase this Quartetto Italiano recording which has been around for over 40 years.

From the opening bars, Quartetto Italiano distinguish themselves as eminent interpretors of Debussy. Their phrasing emphasizes the oceanic swell of this music in a completely convincing way - listening to the samples, even though brief, will give you an idea of what I mean. The Ravel quartet also receives an outstanding treatment: atmospheric, rythmically secure and supple.

The sound is quite up front and while some may think the close miking is a little harsh (the Classics Today reviewer, to be specific, thinks so), I find it very appealing.

Very highly recommended!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 4 April 2008
By JP Nightingale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
From the opening bars of Debussy's thrilling string quartet, it's clear this is a special date that fully deserves its inclusion in the Phillips Great Recordings series. The music is so immediate, so exciting and perpetually inventive, the playing so united and muscular, it really nudges perfection.

This goes equally for the Ravel quartet, routinely coupled with Debussy. It's no real surprise the two works are often placed side by side - Debussy implored Ravel "by the Gods of music not to change a thing" to his quartet, so the mutual admiration was certainly there! Despite surface similarities, however, the two are really very distinct works and Quartetto Italiano, here at their absolute peak, brings each to luminous life.

The close mikes, while perhaps a bit annoying for some, to these ears brings a sense of intimate warmth and immediacy.

Very highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Examples of french composers writing in a german ensemble 29 May 2007
By Osvaldo Colarusso - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Quartets of Debussy and Ravel are the most interesting french quartets.The work of Debussy is one exception in the composer production.Maybe here we have the only german structure this composer folowed.Maybe, the first movement is the only Sonata form we can find in all his production.The second movement is one scherzo, rare in the production of this composer.This quartet,that I love, is a very good work , but is one exception for Debussy.Ravel was more classic, and the F major quartet is more tipical of the composer.

This recording was made in 1965, and it is fantastic.The sonorities are very special, and if I love the way the LaSalle , The Tokio and the Parrenin plays these music, the Quartetto Italiano is by far my favourite.
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic recording endures and stands up well to the test of time and increased competition 8 Nov 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This venerable recording by the Italian Quartet from 1965 was, for many years, the standard reference copy of both works either individually or as a coupling. One of the considerable virtues of this group of players was that they could always be relied upon to play in tune and to play with musicianship. The competition was not so strong as it is today as many of the alternative groups simply could not deliver accuracy in tuning (or even worse, the notes). This was rarely commented upon in review magazines at the time, a source of complete bemusement for me, but as one who was expected to play in tune I found listening to string chamber music almost beyond bearing for much of the time - except for this group.

Nowadays such matters are largely a thing of the past as technical standards have rocketed. This may be the result of shortage of orchestral places forcing fine players to seek other means of employment. It may just be that many young players find chamber music more suitable to their circumstances or taste. Whatever the reason, the standards are much higher these days and the Italian Quartet seems to have disappeared as a collectable, or respected ensemble.

However, this record, listed as one of the best 100 by the recording company, still deserves to be heard and seriously considered as a purchase. The playing is exemplary, the recording is excellent regardless of its age and the musicianship of these highly experienced players is still of the highest quality.

Even with so many really fine alternative modern recordings of these two works I would still suggest that this classic recording deserves listening to. As such it remains in my collection surrounded by several newer alternatives on both CD and DVD. It still earns its place at the head of the queue through virtue of its sheer musicianship - some things simply never date or go out of fashion. I would therefore suggest that this disc is still worth considering purchasing even in these more competitive times.

Postscript
Since writing this review I have purchased this remastered version using 24 bit and 96 kHz technology. The differences on this occasion are slight presumably because of the excellence of the original even though it originates from 1965. On the new remastering there is an additional clarity to the individual instruments giving each more 'bite' or impact at the start of sounds especially and the overall 'presence' of the sound has been improved giving an very real illusion of the players being in the same room as the listener. These differences will inevitably be most noticeable on high quality playback equipment.
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