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Mendelssohn: Octet, Op.20; String Quartet, Op.80 CD

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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£8.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B006J4AHKO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,572 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. 1. Allegro moderato, ma con fuoco
  2. 2. Andante
  3. 3. Scherzo (Allegro leggierissimo)
  4. 4. Presto
  5. 1. Tema con Variazione
  6. 2. Scherzo
  7. 3. Capriccio
  8. 4. Fuga
  9. 1. Allegro vivace assai
  10. 2. Allegro assai
  11. 3. Adagio
  12. 4. Finale: Allegro molto

Product Description


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this because I was soon to perform it in a concert. I needed to hear the cello part as I am a cellist. The parts were very unbalanced in this recording, very first violin heavy. Could barely hear the cellos.
No use for me, but I gave it 3 stars because it was a lively performance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x90e2d834) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91098c6c) out of 5 stars The Emersons' Octet lacks joy, but their Quartet no. 6 is compelling from beginning to end 4 July 2012
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This disc selects two works, early and late, from the Emerson's 2005 box set that covered all of Mendelssohn's music for string quartet. The composer's most famous chamber work is the Octet, written at 16, the period when Mendelssohn was a prodigy among prodigies. As Amazon's featured review notes, the Emersons didn't bring in four additional players but dub themselves into the eight parts of the Octet. It doesn't sound mechanical, however, and even after you know about the gimmick, you can't detect a problem, other than the lack of separate voices, which in any case sometimes produces too much congestion - here everything runs smooth as silk, so far as tonality goes.

Interpretation is a different matter. This is Mendelssohn put under pressure. In place of youthful charm and exuberance, we get tense, propulsive playing that is, frankly, not appropriate. I realize that the Emersons made their reputation in Beethoven by "updating" the Romantic approach to his quartets, speeding them up, removing rubato, and delivering an almost emotionless interpretation. They do the same here, and despite the multitude of fans this ultra-efficient ensemble has gathered, tense Mendelssohn is too far off the mark. Nothing here is fun or joyous.

Late Mendelssohn is problematic because he drifted from youthful genius into musical conformity and Victorian respectability. Quartet no. 6 Op. 80, his last completed quartet, is different, however. It was composed after the premature death of Mendelssohn's beloved sister Fannie in 1847, an event that seems to lend darkness and dissonance to this score; it's one of the few that displays signs of struggle in Mendelssohn's musical temperament. It opens with tremulous agitation and jagged lines. This is a compelling work, considered by man to be Mendelssohn's masterpiece in the genre; for once he forgets his customary elegance. For that reason, the Emerson's stressed approach seems apt. Their reading holds your attention from beginning to end - the intensity and despairing restlessness of the finale could hardly be better.

This generous CD is filled out with five miscellaneous movements for string quartet gathered after the composer's death as Op. 81. We are back to well-behaved Felix, with all the skill at fugues and theme-and-variations that it implies. Nothing seems inspired, however.
HASH(0x90e35c18) out of 5 stars Amazing!! I am sad the Emerson disbanded 18 May 2015
By EJS - Reno - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Amazing!! I am sad the Emerson disbanded, but their virtuosity lives on in this magnificent recording. I was given the wonderful experience of hearing David Finckel and his wife Wu Han perform here in Reno. I only wish I could have heard the Quartet!
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Alexander Jackson - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Utter perfection. If only it could be performed live as such...
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9109866c) out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Sept. 2015
By Richard E. Hanlon - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9145cf18) out of 5 stars Nothing better than string quartets 4 May 2014
By Pablo Divine - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There really is nothing better that string quartets and no better string quartet than Emerson. If I were a king, they'd be my court musicians. Check out the Emerson take on the Late Beethoven Quartets.
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