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A. Evans "Les24preludes"
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Bartok: Comp String Quartets
Bartok: Comp String Quartets

5.0 out of 5 stars intelligent, dramatic and very well played, 31 Aug 2014
This stereo 1963 version is so famous that it became a bit of a cult in the years when it was expensive and hard to find. The French Sony version was sought after, and I think I'm right in saying this is the version now on Sony Tandem. If this is true, you don't need to shell out silly money for the originals and their previous re-incarnations.

These performances are energetic, intelligent, dramatic and very well played. So what's not to like? Nothing if you like those qualities. So why do I consistently prefer listening to the Hungarians on DG or the Tatrai quartet? More lyrical, more idiomatic, a little slower tempi which reveal more inner parts, deeper emotionally.....

You may find nothing better than these performances. But they may not ultimately satisfy as much as the Hungarians or the Tatrai.


Bartok : String Quartets Nos 1 - 6 [Complete]  -  Apex
Bartok : String Quartets Nos 1 - 6 [Complete] - Apex
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... have this version and I've listened to it quite happily for years, 31 Aug 2014
I have this version and I've listened to it quite happily for years. But I recently did some comparative listening to versions of these quartets and I've unearthed some better sets. For a start, I'd prefer the Hungarians on DG which I'd put at the top of the tree from what I've heard so far, and above the Juilliards, Takacs and Tokyo. They're idiomatic, detailed, deep and really bring out the texture and inner parts. And then I really like the Tatrai - rarer and more expensive but it's seriously good.

I can still get pleasure from this set - it's a lot better than many others. But since the Hungarians on DG are not expensive I'd put my money there.


Bartók: 6 String Quartets (2 CDs)
Bartók: 6 String Quartets (2 CDs)
Price: £10.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Together with the Tatrai set this is probably my favourite version of the several I've heard (including Takacs, 31 Aug 2014
Together with the Tatrai set this is probably my favourite version of the several I've heard (including Takacs, Juiliiard, Tokyo etc). It's different in some key respects. The recording is detailed and clear, and this helps bring out the many subtle details in the playing. This version is all about texture and inner parts. You will hear things you don't hear in other sets, and tempi are slower than those who employ a more dramatic style. But the architecture is nevertheless there, and there is a coherent musical argument going through each movement. The music flows naturally. If you want drama try the Takacs or the Juilliard. Neither satisfy me as much as these do. These are recordings you can come back to again and again and find freshness, depth and micro detail. Idiomatic and very rewarding.


Bartok, B.: The 6 String Quartets
Bartok, B.: The 6 String Quartets
Price: £14.98

4.0 out of 5 stars His interpretation has matured a lot since 1984 and this is also a much better quartet in terms of technical ability than the or, 31 Aug 2014
Gabor Takacs-Nagy formed the Takacs quartet in 1975, and this all-hungarian lineup recorded the 6 quartets in 1984 for Hungaroton. The Decca Takacs recording 1998 was a newer lineup without Takacs and with two english players. This Mikrokosmos Quartet is Gabor Takacs-Nagy's new lineup from 1998 on. His interpretation has matured a lot since 1984 and this is also a much better quartet in terms of technical ability than the original lineup. It's clean and precise playing and also well recorded. The 1984 recording was rather choppy.

Whether the interpretation is quite as deep as the Hungarians on DG or the Tatrai is another question. Maybe not. But it's idiomatic and better than many other well-reviewed versions including the Decca Takacs to my ears. Worth a listen.


Bartók: The Six String Quartets
Bartók: The Six String Quartets
Price: £52.02

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a pretty special version of the quartets, 30 Aug 2014
This is a pretty special version of the quartets. The Tatrai quartet was formed in 1946 from leading members of the Hungarian State orchestra. They have this music in their bones, and there is a rightness about their interpretations that lifts them above most other versions. They are in the same ballpark as the Hungarian Quartet and the Ramor Quartet, both hungarians, but they are darker and more lyrical. This is not a cheap way of getting these works, and it's not widely available, but if you love these works it's worth it. A number of serious listeners have put this at the top of their favourites and I'd agree with that.


Epson Stylus SX125 All-in-One (Print, Scan, Copy) Printer with Individual Inks
Epson Stylus SX125 All-in-One (Print, Scan, Copy) Printer with Individual Inks

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NEVER buy an Epson printer, 30 Nov 2013
Ignore this review if you are happy to spend a fortune on genuine Epson ink cartridges. If you want to use replacement ones at sane prices, this printer WON'T RECOGNISE THEM and you end up with a mound of useless cartridges full of ink and a printer that doesn't work. I could happily throw this heap of junk under a bus. One day I even might.


Epson Stylus SX100 All In One Printer
Epson Stylus SX100 All In One Printer

1.0 out of 5 stars NEVER buy an Epson printer, 30 Nov 2013
If you want to spend a fortune using genuine Epson cartridges, ignore this. If you want to have a printer that accepts replacement cartridges at sane prices DON'T get an Epson. They are endless trouble, and pretty soon you find they won't clean heads without refusing to recognise the cartridge. Then you'll start collecting mounds of usable cartridges full of ink that simply can't be "recognised". End of story. Printer doesn't work. Buy a different make and don't waste your life on this. Just read all the Youtube videos about "fixes" for this, which don't actually work for the most part. I could at times have thrown my SX515W under a bus. Not saying I won't.....


Bach: 6 Sonatas & Partitas
Bach: 6 Sonatas & Partitas
Price: £13.58

5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets, 23 Jun 2013
This is a magisterial, totally secure and deeply musical version of these great works. Very few violinists match Mullova here. One is Isabelle Faust, who is wonderful. You can make a case for Szeryng, and Gimpel and Madroszkiewicz are both good in their ways. But this is about as good as it gets.


J.S. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin - Isabelle Faust
J.S. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin - Isabelle Faust
Price: £8.76

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific playing, 23 Jun 2013
This is one of the really good versions of these works. Assured, unfailingly musical playing and lovely tone right through. The music dances, it talks to you, it has poise. What more could one want.


Strauss, R.: Four Last Songs, etc.
Strauss, R.: Four Last Songs, etc.
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fleming is supreme in the Four Last Songs, 2 Dec 2012
There are several versions of Fleming's FLL, a few on youtube also, and all are absolutely wonderful. The fruity, rich voice, the smooth legato line, it's hard to think of anyone better in this. Others can sing it well - Marilyn Horne, Soile Isikoski, Schwarzkopf, Varady, Auger.... but Renee is as good as anyone and generally my go-to choice.


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