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Schubert: Death & the Maiden CD


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Frequently Bought Together

Schubert: Death & the Maiden + Schubert: String Quintet/ Quartet (Takács Quartet; Ralph Kirshbaum) (Hyperion: CDA67864) + Beethoven: Late String Quartets
Price For All Three: £53.83

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Oct. 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B000I5Y8W8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,065 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Allegro
2. Andante Con Moto
3. Scherzo (Allegro Molto)
4. Presto
5. 1. Allegro Ma Non Troppo
6. 2. Andante
7. 3. Menuetto: Allegretto
8. 4. Allegro moderato

Product Description

Product Description

N° 14, D810 "La jeune fille et la mort" - N° 13, D804 / Takacs Quartet

BBC Review

Two great Schubert string quartets from 1824, written just after the composer had been hospitalised as the first signs of syphilis made themselves uncomfortably obvious, and while Beethoven was preparing a grand concert in Vienna to showcase his new Ninth Symphony. Schubert knew that he'd begun living under a death sentence, and he too was determined to leave major musical landmarks for posterity.

The 'Rosamunde' Quartet is a profoundly melancholy work, even by the standards of late Schubert, and the Takacs Quartet plumbs its emotional depths with an ideal balance of lyrical beauty, nostalgic longing, and terrible uncertainty.

Their playing in 'Death and the Maiden' is even more impressive; from the stark, vibrato-less opening, there's no doubt that where in the 'Rosamunde' we might have been teetering on the edge of a precipice, here we've plunged into the abyss, and the Takacs don't shrink from the anger and violence of the score. Yet somehow they manage to negotiate these elements without ever making an ugly sound, where some competitors throw everything to the wind to make their points.

The ensemble, even with a new viola player, is impeccable - this is still a quartet that sounds as though it breathes and thinks as one - and some of leader Edward Dusinberre's playing is intensely beautiful.

The recording is superb: up close and personal, so all the detail's there, yet there's enough ambient detail to stop it from becoming too invasive. It's the first recording the Takacs has made for its new label Hyperion, and they must be thrilled with it. --Andrew McGregor

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Moyes on 3 April 2011
Format: Audio CD
The Takacs Quartet and Hyperion are to be congratulated on this superb performance. The music is finely articulated and coloured. I found it the most moving of the various versions that I have in my library and, rather unusually in my experience, it entirely lives up to the hypes given on the cover. When I ordered it I thought that 'Death and the Maiden' was the entire content. But no. That work is coupled with an achingly beautiful performance of the 'Rosamunde'(Quartet in A-minor). That makes it a fine value value for money recording as well as one to cherish for its sheer musicality
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hywel James TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 April 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Takacs Quartet has been praised for its many recordings recently and this Schubert album is a continuation of this quartet's excellence. The Hyperion recording (to say nothing of the extraordinary painting chosen for the packaging - someone at the company must have a hotline to owners of risque Nineteenth and early Twentieth century graphic art) is outstandingly good. Anyone looking for a modern recording to add to other performances, such as the classic accounts by Busch Quartet, the Budapest Quartet or the Italian Quartet, can be confidently directed towards this cd. Highly recommended.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By YIP Alex on 17 Jun. 2014
Format: Audio CD
I own more than 1 dozen versions of this, which is my favourite quartet, recording and performance I feel is not comparable to the best available, including Lindsays, Belcea, Jerusalem.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Unbelievable - Perfect Recording 1 Dec. 2006
By J. Myers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the absolute best recording of these two quartets to date. The Takacs Quartet has impressed many with their previous recordings, and this will impress them even more with this new release. Their new partnership with Hyperion is off to a great start. The acoustics of the hall are perfect, not too dry - not too much eco. The balance of the recording is superb with each instrument being presented equally. The interpretation of the D 810 "death and the maiden" is jam packed full of excitement. They play with unbelievable drive and intensity while making sure never to over-do anything. The D 804 "Rosamunde" quartet is the definition of beauty. Every phrase is treated with care and never, never is a line forgotten. If your looking for a recording that is satisfying in all ways, unlike the Emerson Quartets recording (which I find to be extremely technically perfect but nothing else), this is a must buy recording. Even if you own the great Busch Quartet recordings of these works you should invest in these unmatched performances.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Another "Death and the Maiden"? 17 Nov. 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These are two of the most recorded String Quartets - so who needs another set?

The new line up of the Takacs Quartet proves that we all do! Their ensemble is impeccable and makes me, for one, to listen to these works anew.

The speed for the first movement of the "Maiden" may be a little fast for some ears - but they bring it off. As for the slow movement - I have never heard it better played.

The "Rosamunde" is equally well done and this is a `must have' CD for all lovers of Schubert

It was one of the top recommendations of "The Gramophone" magazine - and no wonder!

If you love Schubert - I urge you to buy this CD - you will not be disappointed!
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Glorious Performances 30 Jan. 2007
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Franz Schubert wrote his 13th and 14th quartets in 1824 having not written anything in the form for several years. These were important compositions for Schubert and he dedicated them to Ignaz Schuppanzigh who was the leader of a string quartet whose opinion of the 14th quartet was unfortunately not favorable). As the notes for the CD point out, Schubert was in a melancholy mood having discovered that he has syphilis and also from the belief that his youth was gone never to be recovered. I knew of the Takacs Quartet through reputation only until the advent of this CD. From the opening bars it is evident that this recording of Schubert's most popular string quartets is special; tempos are well judged and the phrasing is beautiful. The Takacs bring out the symphonic elements of the music with precision.

The 13th quartet bears the name Rosamunde as Schubert included one of the melodies he had written for the play. In contrast to Schubert's other quartets, all of the movements of the 13th begin pianissimo. The Andante quotes the well-know them from the Rosemunde incidental music at first played as a pleasant minuet but then restated with more agitation. The Menuetto is sadly sweet and the Finale has a Hungarian twist.

The 14th goes by the name Death and the Maiden for a melody Schubert uses in the second movement borrowed from a song. The subject of the quartet is concerned with the loss of youth and indeed the tone of the Andante is one of melancholy. The opening movement is a contrast of tension and relaxation as the melodies alternate between a state of agitation and calm. The Scherzo is dance-like with a trio that is quiet and graceful and the tarantella Finale is wildly exuberant.

Even if you already have these quartets on CD you will want to hear the new Takacs Quartet recordings. The recording is beautifully done and the booklet notes by Mischa Donat are very informative.
Marvellous 26 Jan. 2014
By Albert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
No finer performance of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" quartet exists. There are others with an equally valid approach - such as the Tokyo Quartet, but for intensity and commitment, as well as technically brilliance, the Takacs are exceptional.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Agreed 3 April 2011
By toronto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Terrific performance, and great sound. The recording is warmer and more "wraparound" than my other version, the Italian Quartet (great too). A couple of weird sounds here and there (a shout?).
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