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String Quintet, String Quartets (Hungarian Quartet) Original recording remastered

Price: £15.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£15.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 4 left in stock. Sold by INNER PEACE MUSIC and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. String Quintet, D.956 (1996 Digital Remaster): Allegro ma non troppoHungarian Quartet/Laszlo Varga14:08Album Only
Listen  2. String Quintet, D.956 (1996 Digital Remaster): AdagioHungarian Quartet/Laszlo Varga13:37Album Only
Listen  3. String Quintet, D.956 (1996 Digital Remaster): Scherzo (Presto)Hungarian Quartet/Laszlo Varga11:10Album Only
Listen  4. String Quintet, D.956 (1996 Digital Remaster): AllegrettoHungarian Quartet/Laszlo Varga 9:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. String Quartet No. 13 in A Minor, D.804 'Rosamunde' (1996 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro ma non troppoThe Hungarian Quartet 8:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. String Quartet No. 13 in A Minor, D.804 'Rosamunde' (1996 Digital Remaster): II. AndanteThe Hungarian Quartet 7:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. String Quartet No. 13 in A Minor, D.804 'Rosamunde' (1996 Digital Remaster): III. Menuetto (Allegretto) & TrioThe Hungarian Quartet 7:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. String Quartet No. 13 in A Minor, D.804 'Rosamunde' (1996 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro moderatoThe Hungarian Quartet 6:29£0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D.887 (1996 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro molto moderatoThe Hungarian Quartet12:53Album Only
Listen  2. String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D.887 (1996 Digital Remaster): II. Andante un poco motoThe Hungarian Quartet10:25Album Only
Listen  3. String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D.887 (1996 Digital Remaster): III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace) & Trio (Allegretto)The Hungarian Quartet 7:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D.887 (1996 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro assaiThe Hungarian Quartet10:10Album Only
Listen  5. String Quartet in D Minor, D.810 'La Jeune Fille et la mort' (1996 Digital Remaster): AllegroThe Hungarian Quartet11:21Album Only
Listen  6. String Quartet in D Minor, D.810 'La Jeune Fille et la mort' (1996 Digital Remaster): Andante con motoThe Hungarian Quartet13:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. String Quartet in D Minor, D.810 'La Jeune Fille et la mort' (1996 Digital Remaster): Scherzo:Allegro moltoThe Hungarian Quartet 3:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. String Quartet in D Minor, D.810 'La Jeune Fille et la mort' (1996 Digital Remaster): PrestoThe Hungarian Quartet 8:40£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Excellent performances, great bargain 11 Oct 2007
By Alan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Some of the EMI budget twofers are not great choices even at the price, but some are and this one certainly is. These are really superb performances of the last three Schubert string quartets and the great C major string quintet. As you might expect, it's because the first movement repeats are not taken that EMI is able to get these four works onto two CDs. The Quartetsatz is not included.

The Hungarian Quartet plays with a robust sound, not super-refined but with excellent intonation. They are dramatic without being too driven and have a good deal of warmth and sentiment without overdoing it. This is not precious Schubert.

Joined by cellist László Varga, they offer an especially dramatic, flowing, lively performance of the quintet, a performance that may be my favorite of the several recordings of it in my collection (the others being Hollywood-Reher, Alberni-Igloi, Casals-Stern-Schneider-Katims-Tortelier, and Emerson-Rostropovich). Less introspective than some other versions, this performance makes total dramatic and musical sense to me, with the introspective sections having particular power because they're such a contrast to the more aggressive, extroverted parts of the performance.

These performances were not part of a cycle; they date from between 1958 and 1970 and were made in two different venues. Despite that, the sound quality is pretty consistent. Though not state of the art, it is very good, with all the performances sounding as if they were recorded in a space with a nicely open and resonant sound. I'm pleased to say that they were not too closely miked. I do sometimes get tired of hearing performers' every breath on some more recent recordings. The only reservation I have is that there could be greater dynamic range.

This may not be the only late Schubert you'll ever need or want, but it's truly first-rate and at the price it's a steal. Whether as an introduction to these great works or as alternate versions to add to others you already have, I recommend it very highly.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Schubert and the Hungarian Quartet 23 May 2010
By Anton Zimmerling - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The last string quartets of Franz Schubert and his string quintet in C major, D. 956, belong to the greatest Romantic music. These are large-scale works defying the idea of Schubert as a miniaturist: the structure of the G major quartet and the quintet is especially sophisticated. This is intense, chromatic and death-laden music; the death motifs are elsewhere. Not only the the auto-quotation from Schubert's song "The Death and the Maiden" in the slow movement of the D minor quartet (D.810), but also the modulation from C major to D flat in the first bars of the quintet, the abrupt shift from an enlightened E major to the agitated F minor episode in the slow movement of the quintet (ca. 4'35 in this recording, CD 1, track 2), the ambivalent, Janus-like G major/G minor main subject of the first movement of D.887 (CD 2, track 1), the threatening tremolos in the slow movement of the same quartet, the hectic conclusions of D.810 and D.887, the subdued pianissimos in the beginning of all movements of the "Rosamunde" quartet in A minor, D.804, are its signs and Schubert brand marks.

Needless to say, these Romantic masterpieces have been recorded many times. Everyone is free to choose his favorites, but this album shines out. Along with the earlier CD of the Busch Quartet Schubert: String Quartets 14 "Death and the Maiden" & 15 / Busch String Quartet it is a pride of the EMI catalogue. The playing is exceptional even to the high standards of the Hungarian Quartet: their Schubert is heart-felt - a feature normally not associated with the style of this ensemble (their set of Beethoven quartets may seem cold and detached to some listeners). Moreover, the Hungarians play here with a ravishingly beautiful sound: this is not always heard in their live broadcasts The Hungarian String Quartet and Zoltan Szekely (Historical Recordings and Previously Unissued Public Performances, 1937-1968), but these studio recordings from 1958-1970 capture their tone at its best.

Like the Busch quartet, the Hungarian Quartet had a great violinist at the first pult - Zoltan Szekely (1903-2001): his soaring cantilena in the slow movements of Op. 163, D.810 and D.887 and the precise passagework in the difficult finals of D.810 and D.887 immediately attract the ear. Szekely and Co. did not practice excessive vibrato and did not boost the bass at the expense of other voices. The voicing is displayed with an utmost clarity and the timbre of each instrument remains discernible: the onset of the quintet sounds almost as a kind of a String Bel Canto. Their forte was not the loudest possible, but they possessed a great number of dynamic gradings. I never heard such a long crescendo in the first movement of the "Death and the Maiden" quartet, D.810 (CD 2, track 5). The whole passage from 0'28 up to 1'28 is played as one sound wave: while some ensembles disintegrate it into short stretches, the Hungarians magically manage to keep the long line. Incredible.
All Schubert works on this album get outstanding performances, but the string quintet and the "Death and the Maiden" are exceptional. To me, the main reference for the quintet is Pablo Casals's recording from the Prades festival Franz Schubert: Quintet/Symphony No.5. Casals had stellar partners - Stern, Sascha Schneider, Katims and Paul Tortelier, but Szekely and Co. do not lose the comparison. Casals and friends emphasize the bass line and play the ourtbursts to an extreme, while the Hungarians obviously aim at transparent voicing and integrity. The Schubert's score supports both approaches: I feel that the first movement and the Scherzo-trio gain from the cello powerplay from Casals & Tortelier, while the slow movement and the final breath better with the Hungarians. The "Death and the Maiden" is another high point. The Hungarians' version simply has no dead places from the first note to the last. Another notable interpretations are the early Juilliard Quartet [Juilliard String Quartet Plays Beethoven, Schubertand the Busch quartet (1936), but my first pick for D.810 would be the Hungarians.

The point of reference for the D.887 is the Busch quartet (1938). The Hungarians' approach to this score (CD 2, tracks 1-4) is very different from the stormy account of the Busch: they offer not a drama, but a story of fate. What both versions have in common, is the fast tempi: the Hungarians play the first movement for bare [12'52] (Busch Quartet: 13'12) against the maddening [20'15] in the 1977 recording of the Quartetto Italiano Schubert: The Last Four Quartets. I wish to hear more swing in the first two movements, but the Hungarian's rendering of the Scherzo's trio (CD 2, track 3) is perfect, and the brilliantly played finale has the required aura of fragility and doom. For a different approach one can turn to the mono version of the Amadeus quartet Amadeus Quartet: Haydn, Schubert, Brahms 1951-1957, but the Amadeus get from the last two movements less than the Busch and the Hungarians. For the "Rosamunde" quartet, D.804, a valuable alternative is the earlier (1952) version of the Quartetto Italiano Debussy: Quartetto; Milhaud: Quartetto n. 12; Schubert: Quartet.

I am giving these details since I love Schubert and have various performances of his quartets, in addition to the mentioned above. But if you wish to buy just one version of Schubert's last quartets and his C major quintet, this CD-album, recently reissued by the EMI in the budget Gemini series, is the right choice: you get performances of a highest order for a cheap price. It would of course be nice to print a picture of the musicians and add short info about the Hungarian Quartet to the booklet, but the EMI does not do this in their budget editions.

Performances: *****++.
Packaging: *****.
Sound: ranging from **** to *****.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
six stars out of five 1 Mar 2012
By Arnar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The interpretations here are so right that I have no words for the quality of this CD. The works themselves are of course outstanding. There is definitely no other interpretation of the quintet that comes close to this version.

This CD used to be a real bargain but now it's only available used at a high price. However, there is no alternative if you want the definite version of the late quartets and the quintet in particular.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
listening pleasure 16 Mar 2009
By Mr. Hrant N. Tatian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a first class recording of Schubert's great chamber music. Well worth getting for your listening pleasure.
5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
From adolescence to the valley of shadows! 24 Oct 2008
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Whom the Gods love, die young. But with Schubert I guess he was the most beloved of their protégés.

Every time I listen some of these distinguished Schubert's Quartets I am immediately conveyed to new musical horizons, in which the lyricism is just a part of the huge background. These quartets reveal by themselves the immanence of the cosmic breadth, a visible inspiration for Bruckner.

The advisable disposition to listen these works is making with the Greek approach, in which the wholeness prevailed over the existence, and try as soon as possible to give out oneself of the accustomed process of categorization in which we tend to judge and analyse the profane issues.

That's and not other it will be the only way to achieve to enjoy and approach the apparent elusiveness, incorporeal nature and evanescence of these emblematic corpus of these notable String Quartets.

So when in the case of Schubert, who was always possessed and gifted by a sublime and Dionysian inspiration one can say he was truly immersed into a ceaseless epic of transcendence.
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