43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
wonderful performances of wonderful music,
This review is from: Schubert: The Last Four Quartets including Death and the Maiden, Rosamunde, Quartettsatz (Audio CD)
These three quartets are the best that Schubert wrote and can compare with anything written by anyone at any time. Also here is the glorious 'Quartettsatz'. The Quartetto Italiano could justly claim to be one the three or four best string quartets in the world in their time, and Phillips always did them proud, so really there is nothing but excellence here. The Italians' approach is measured and very sonorous, everything is bang in tune (this is not something that can be taken for granted, even with the most stellar quartets), and it seems to me that they plumb the depths here. The opening of the G Major Quartet, arguably the greatest of the three (and the least often played), is just mesmeric - that whispery violin figure above the tremolando, so frail, so human, so Schubertian. Their tempi tend to be moderate, indeed slowish in the case of some movements (particularly the 'Quartettsatz), but they always make them seem right. When they repeat the exposition in the G major quartet, it isn't a straight repetition, it is even more fragile and anguished, and it is - well, breath-taking is the word that comes to mind. And so it is with every piece on these two discs. When you think that you can get this quality for this price, life just seems good!!
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