38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
A Bargain At Twice The Price!,
This review is from: Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets 1-16 (Audio CD)The Beethoven string quartets form an amazing body of music, composed over his lifetime. There is not a flat spot in there and, right from the off, they match, if not exceed all others. Don't be fooled by the so-called 'early' quartets, they were published when Beethoven was 30 and already an established star of the piano - he'd already written 10 sonatas, including the Pathetique.
I own a number of Beethoven String Quartet whole or partial cycles, including the Busch, Vegh, Talich, Takacs, Italian, Mosaiques, Alban Berg and Emerson (best avoided) and I've spent a number of years on the elusive search for the 'perfect' cycle.
I have to say that these recordings come as close as any, and at £20 for 8 CDs, you can't go far wrong. The Lindsays are the quartet that I come back to again and again, although you should not be disappointed with any of the above (the Busch version is regarded as definitive by purists, as with Schnabel's recordings of the piano sonatas, if you can put up with 1930's quality sound and some slightly ropey playing!).
The earlier cycle by the Lindsays is also worth listening to, but this cycle seems to bring a depth of understanding and feeling that can only come with age and experience.
One thing I must address: some reviewers complain about the 'rough and ready' of some of the Lindsays recordings and prefer a more high-gloss approach, but I think that completely misses the point. If you want to hear the real Beethoven, this is where to start - especially as the Takacs recordings (my other favourite) will cost you twice as much!
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Jul 2009 18:14:29 BDT
Tout en chantant says:
This is the first cycle of Beethoven Quartets recorded by the Lindsays in the late 1970s - early 1980s. It is NOT the second recording done more recently.
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jul 2009 07:42:36 BDT
R. Milin says:
Yes. I have both sets of single discs, and this box both identifies the producers from the first set and states that the notes are from the original notes by Golding, again from the first set. It's a shame the box isn't more explicit, but as the commenter says, this is the first set.
Posted on 27 Sep 2009 23:58:53 BDT
This is the first cycle, it clearly states Roger Bigley as the viola player and NOT Robin Ireland as in the later cycle.
I feel the first cycle is just fantastic.
Posted on 7 Feb 2011 20:16:48 GMT
M Robinson - It's a bit self sanctimonious to advise potential purchases to avoid the Emerson's isn't it? I own both the Lindsay's (since the late 80's on single discs) and Emerson's, and although I have an affinity with the Lindsay's as they were the first I owned - it is the Emerson's I return to more. They play with a technical excellence which is a marvel to behold...we should be happy that people are recording the quartets in this modern, throwaway world. The Emerson's are consistent in sound and interpretation which is also refreshing; they get on with the music - which is possibly what Beethoven himself might have wanted. The Lindsay's are somewhat ponderous and self indulgent in the late quartets, stretching some of the movements to ridiculous lengths (the 1st movement Op.131 comes to mind; also the ludicrously stretched, 19 min adagio of op.127). The Lindsay's on reflection are very uneven in sound; and if you listen carefully, there are some poor edits in both the Razumovsky and Op.18 quartets. I wouldn't really recommend the Lindsay's to anyone starting off with these quartets, particularly when there is a more consistently modern, better played offering by the Emerson's - and it's cheaper!
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2012 07:56:01 BDT
The review refers to the Mosaiques Beethoven set. I had not been aware that there was one. Can a link be posted?
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