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Schubert: Death and Maiden [CD]

Takács Quartet Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £10.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Franz Peter Schubert
  • Audio CD (27 Sep 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: HYPERION
  • ASIN: B003XWFLS8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,681 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. String Quartet No 14 in D minor D810 [35'58] 'Death and the Maiden' - Takacs Quartet
2. String Quartet No 13 in A minor D804 [33'09] 'Rosamunde' - Takacs Quartet

Product Description

Review

As near ideal as one is ever likely to hear. --BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

This disc is a model for what chamber music should be. --THE GUARDIAN

The Takács have the ability to make you believe that there's no other possible way the music should go, and the strength to overturn preconceptions that comes only with the greatest performers. --GRAMOPHONE

Product Description

Takács Quartet

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate Schubert. 22 July 2011
By Steebo
Format:Audio CD
The recording quality and playing on this disc are both first rate...the sound is crisp, open and detailed...and the playing is full of passion and power while remaining refined...a superb disc.
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3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remembrances of maidens past, or of lost time 24 Sep 2011
Format:Audio CD
Schubert: Death and Maiden
The maiden is long dead, death is reliving the memory, hence emotions are watered down and drama is foggy and indistinct.

This is my first experience with Takacs quartet.
However I have listened to many renditions of this Schubert quartet over a period of 50 years or so.

Clear sound but mumbling diction. I had the impression that I was listening to a dyslexic. Perhaps this is to be understood as an effort to create a new interpretation?
I was in a constantly in a foreign environment: absence of echoes of Schubert songs, absence of Germanic austerity, instead at times it reduced to almost Balkan dance tunes.

Often I had the impression that a conductor was needed to bring pieces together, to assemble a definite musical edifice, out of sounds falling out apart into empty space.

The drama of the dialogue between the maiden and death is muffled, almost not there. There is a leveling of the polarity of the brutal force of death on one hand and the tenderness, erotic sadness of the maiden on the other. In my view this a mortal fault.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate Death and the Maiden 19 July 2011
By J.K. Tapio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I don't understand the other reviewer's comment about the sound quality on this recording. After reading the rewiew, I listened to this CD with great concentration at home and found absolutely nothing to complain about the sound. To my ears, this is what a great ensemble sounds like when it is interpreting a great masterpiece (in this case, two great masterpieces) and when it is not trying to be too polite about its way with these works and play them through just like your quartet next door. Maybe the reviewer just got a defective copy?

Indeed, I have found the same issue with quite a few reviews here at Amazon. Many reviewers shower praise on a recording and then there always seems to be one or two who have a completely opposite view, and the thing they complain about is often the quality of sound. Sometimes this happens also with professional reviewers, and not only at Amazon. I suspect this is something that has to do with the different sound systems. In spite of the fact that music lovers usually try to seek out and purchase the best (and that includes the most affordable to them) equipment on which to listen to the music they love, there must be considerable differences between the resulting sound. How otherwise to account for such discrepancies between the reviews? When such a thing happens, the prospective buyer just has to "read between the lines" to try to decipher the nature of the problem and whether or not the CD is actually worth purchasing.

A while ago it seemed that certain CDs I had purchased had some kind of bias in their sound that emphasized the left stereo channel. I was quite mystified by this as the reviewers obviously had not encountered this problem at all, at least it was not mentioned in the reviews. Then I found out that the problem was in my equipment, not in the CD: after I had manipulated the balance knob a little, the sound "fell into place" and the problem disappeared.

EDIT: I have now solved the above problem and it appears that the fault was NOT in my equipment! My loudspeakers were located too high on the bookshelf, and once I lowered them a few inches, the problem disappeared! This is just to illustrate what kind of conditions can seriously affect the listening experience. Ideally, the loudspeakers should be located approximately at the level of your ears (or just a little above) when you are sitting comfortably in your chair and listening.

I have bought several reissues in the "Hyperion 30" series and all of those have very good sound. On the basis of my listening experience, I can recommend this reissue of the Takacs' fine 2006 recording with confidence.
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remembrances of maidens past, or of lost time 24 Sep 2011
By ekplatonos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Schubert: String Quartet 'Death and the Maiden'

Remembrances of maidens past, or of lost time.
The maiden is long dead, death is reliving the memory, hence emotions are watered down and drama is foggy and indistinct.

This is my first experience with Takacs quartet.
However I have listened to many renditions of this Schubert quartet over a period of 50 years or so.

Clear sound but mumbling diction. I had the impression that I was listening to a dyslexic. Perhaps this is to be understood as an effort to create a new interpretation?
I was constantly in a foreign environment: absence of echoes of Schubert songs, absence of Germanic austerity, instead at times it reduced to almost Balkan dance tunes.

Often I had the impression that a conductor was needed to bring pieces together, to assemble a definite musical edifice, out of sounds falling out apart into empty space.

The drama of the dialogue between the maiden and death is muffled, almost not there. There is a leveling of the polarity of the brutal force of death on one hand and the tenderness, erotic sadness of the maiden on the other. In my view this a mortal fault.
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