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Schubert: String Quintet D. 956, Quartettsatz D.703 [Hybrid SACD]

Tokyo String Quartet Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £15.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Tokyo String Quartet

Martin Beaver, violin

Kikuei Ikeda, violin

Kazuhide Isomura, viola

Clive Greensmith, cello

After 43 seasons, the Tokyo String Quartet has announced that 2012-2013 will be their last. Regarded as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world, the Tokyo Quartet—Martin Beaver and Kikuei Ikeda (violins), Kazuhide Isomura (viola) and ... Read more in Amazon's Tokyo String Quartet Store

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Schubert: String Quintet D. 956, Quartettsatz D.703 + Brahms: Quintets Opp. 34 & 115 - Tokyo String Quartet
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Product details

  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (1 Nov 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi USA
  • ASIN: B00585QLZ0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,095 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Allegro Ma Non Troppo
2. Adagio
3. Scherzo. Presto - Trio. Andante Sostenuto
4. Allegretto
5. Quartettsatz in C Minor, D703 - Tokyo String Quartet

Product Description

Review

In every way it is an outstanding disc. --Mortimer H Frank, International Record Review, December 2011

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death shall have no dominion 25 Jan 2013
By Entartete Musik TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Schubert died in November 1828. He had completed his String Quintet two months before. You can hear the work as a fevered and bitter goodbye, like the Belcea Quartet's recent recording on EMI. Or it can be performed as 'life in the old boy yet'. That's the sound world that the Tokyo Quartet and David Watkin inhabit in their velvety new recording for Harmonia Mundi.

Rather than accentuating dialectic, the Tokyo Quartet prefers a muted but luxurious tone. The shifting harmonies of the first movement appear as if from treacle. It particularly works in the lilting second subject. Their performance shows Schubert in all his maturity, though the development section lacks danger. There's something a little too earthbound about this Adagio. Glorious, but not yet gripping.

The choice really pays off when the growling scherzo is interrupted by a wonderful understated trio. Slurred delivery blurs space and time and Schubert is caught in the middle. It's a double bluff, professing warmth just that little bit too much. And the Tokyo's weighty finale and performance of the Quartettsatz push those sumptuous credentials yet further. This is the Schubert of heavy smoke and drink rather than the shivering wreck. But it works and we need to experience both ends of that spectrum.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tokyo Qt, Schubert Qnt D956: Highly recommended ... reading, sound, matched Strads ... 3 Dec 2011
By drdanfee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
To my ears this hybrid SACD/CD disc is a real winner.

The venerated Schubert string quintet (D956) surely needs no introduction. Few listeners will say this quintet is not among Shubert's best works, and even fewer will say it is not among the greatest chamber music so far written.

My fav shelf bench marks have been: Cleveland Qt w Ma, a Music From Marlboro reading with Felix Galimir and company, and Lazlo Varga sitting in with the Hungarian Quartet on EMI. This disc easily joins whatever select group you may already cherish.

First off, the super audio surround sound is simply gorgeous, in a subtle, rich, warm way that does not ever call attention to high resolution sound as such while engineering concentrates on serving up the most vivid recreation from the recording studio. Bravo to Harmonia Mundi for bothering with SACD for this release, because I can just imagine some marketing folks somewhere, opining that a quintet only has five string players and surely underwhelms the high resolution media. Not so, not so, not so. This SACD could indeed serve as a fine demonstration disc, not least because the Tokyo Quartet plays on a matched set of Stradivarius instruments on loan to the players from the Nippon Music Foundation (who purchased these outstanding and glorious violins, viola, and cello from the Corcoran Gallery in about 1995). If ever a stringed instrument deserved our best engineering work, surely these instruments qualify for the race.

On top of the fine string instruments, matched to super audio sound, we get one of the great chamber works of all time. This in itself might be called a home run in some quarters.

What Tokyo plus guest cellist David Watkins bring to the Schubert is simply a deep, winning combination of precision, warmth, and subtlety. These players have little need to underline or highlight the interplay of light and shadow, lyrical lift and dark tones, innate to the quintet. To that end, perhaps some listeners will find their reading under-dramatized; I do not. I hear any number of rich, passing inflections that betray what sounds like great care, great musical dedication to the composer and to this enduring chamber work. If the phrasing and intonation are laser-ed precision, the recorded balance among the five string instruments could hardly be bettered. We simply get a prize meld of room resonance (not too much), clarity (all five players are vividly heard ... listen closely and hear a cornucopia of individual arts flooding out of five speakers), and overall presence.

The filler work on the disc is the quartet movement, D 703. It comes down to us as a fragment that the composer was unable or unwilling to finish, rather like the so-called "Unfinished symphony". Quality tells in the end, however, so this single movement manages to suit its listing after the quintet is done. Again, Tokyo brings rich, warm, subtle playing to bear, and one quickly forgets anything but the musical movement at hand.

Move over, then ... Cleveland with Ma, Galimir and friends at Marlboro, Varga and the Hungarian. I introduce a new disc to the fav shelf with no misgivings at all. If you already love the Schubert quintet D956, then you owe it to yourself to give this disc a chance, in super audio surround if your rig permits. If you do not yet know and love the quintet, I think you could hardly have a better first introduction, all told, than giving this reading a few spins. Besides. When was the last time you had the tingling pleasures of four Strads, holding forth in your very own listening space? Five stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars Celestial music. 22 Feb 2014
By Trish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most gripping pieces of chamber music that I have ever listened to, particularly the 2nd movement. The SACD gives this performance particular warmth and realism.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 2 Sep 2013
By Herber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One of the best interpretation that I ever hear.

unfortunately the publication don't have samples, but this interpretation is similar in tempo to Mstislav Rostropovich-Emerson String quartet interpretation with a greater refinement of sound quality.
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