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7 Reviews
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+, 10 July 2010
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This review is from: Beethoven: Late String Quartets (Audio CD)
I recently purchased these remastered versions of the Busch set, having had the original EMI CD version (which didnt contain the Op 130 and 133- so bravo for getting together with Sony and including that in this new set)

I am very impressed by the remastering, which has all but eliminated tape hiss from these historic recordings without, in my view, sacrificing fidelity to the recorded performance.

For me, these great recordings have never sounded better.

At the time of writing they are priced on Amazon at about 13, which for such a seminal recording of the late quartets (plus the Op95!) is staggering.

They are not my favorite recordings of the late quartets, but they certainly deserve their legendary status, and of course merit exploration by anyone who loves this music.

Amazing value for money.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage playing, 30 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Beethoven: Late String Quartets (Audio CD)
It is difficult to know how to review classic recordings such as these. Th playing is simply wonderful - 5 star - but 70 Year old recordings obviously show their age They have been finely remastered but there are limits.

I find that rather than play these discs on my standard ''HiFi'', I play tthem on my ''Mid-Fi'' equipment in the bedroom where the warmer, less analytical, sound is altogether kinder to the recording.

I listen to these discs at least as often as I do my modern 'state-of-the-art' recordings but I would not be prepared to settle for the Busch version as my only one, simply because of those recording limitations. Subject to that caveat, these discs are a joy to own and well worth adding to any comprehensive Beethoven collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Busch quartet, 3 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Beethoven: Late String Quartets (Audio CD)
Provided you accept the quality of 1920s/1930s mono recordings these are outstanding performances in an older style of playing - with noticeable portimento, but wonderful interpretations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars devine playing, 19 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Beethoven: Late String Quartets (Audio CD)
These recordings are simply the best interpretations I have heard.They show great understanding and deep emotion.As recommended by Alfred Brendel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CLASS MUSIC, 4 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Beethoven: Late String Quartets (Audio CD)
Superb vintage performances from a great quartet; not for you if the latest interpretations and 21st century sound are your forte.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rightly celebrated recordings - but buy this on the Pristine label, 19 Jun 2014
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Ralph Moore "Ralph operaphile" (Bishop's Stortford, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beethoven: Late String Quartets (Audio CD)
Believe me; there's no comparison. It's not that Pristine are so interventionist that they have removed frequencies or created an artificially enhanced sound but their transfers, compared with these perfectly decent EMI remasterings are preferable as is day to night. Find a way to play them side by side if you don't believe me: there is a warmth and transparency to the Pristine issues that is completely missing in the hissy, scratchy EMI transfers; furthermore the stability of pitch is noticeable compared to the wow and wobble on EMI. There is no soupiness in the Pristine set, just a new, full-bodied clarity.

The filler is different for both sets: EMI provides no.11, Op.95, while Pristine give us no.7, Op.59, the first "Rasumovsky" quartet. I won't go into any detail regarding the desirability and artistic of these recordings; they top any connoisseur's list for their intensity and musicality, even in historical sound. Re-engineered by Pristine, they become irresistible - as long as you do not object to the random expressive scooping.

Of course, there is plenty of competition from other bargain and/or modern sets: I value the Hungarians on Regis, the Medici on Nimbus, the Tokyo on Sony and of course the Smetana Quartet's earlier recordings on Supraphon - but these are the urtext versions and every collector should own them - only buy them on Pristine.
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7 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Late Beethoven Qts, 28 Sep 2009
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I. P. Cheneour "paul cheneour" (Dover UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: Late String Quartets (Audio CD)
The box set is well presented and the music well played quite some time ago but the remastering could have been better giving more needed depth to the instruments.
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Beethoven: Late String Quartets
Beethoven: Late String Quartets by Busch Quartet (Audio CD - 2008)
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