some music to consider

I’ve been on a reading kick, as you may recall from this earlier entry, and I’m also finding new recordings (both newly recorded and oldies reissued) and have found an example of each that you should definitely check out.

First, the new:

Schubert String Quartets Rosamunde Death and the Maiden Quartet in G major [+digital booklet]

The Artemis Quartet, based in Berlin, has been one of my favorite quartets for some time now, largely due to their variety of interesting projects, including an amazing album of Piazzolla transcriptions, and their recent recording of the complete quartets of Beethoven. Their latest recording, of the last three Schubert quartets, is simply stunning. Beautifully homogeneous playing, a superb sonic conception, and well thought-out interpretations make this recording a must-buy.

Now, for the old:

Debussy: String Quartet in G minor / Ravel: String Quartet in F

The Quartetto Italiano was the favorite group of my youth orchestra conductor (and one of the great musical influences of my life) Harry Davidson, and our listening tapes for chamber music class were almost invariably of this group. Only recently have I come back to this group and been astounded by what I’d been missing all these years. I have to say that their interpretations of the two great French string quartets are unparalleled to this day. Their Beethoven set and Brahms set are also highly regarded by connoisseurs.

One Reply to “some music to consider”

  1. I’ll have to make a point of checking out the Debussy/Ravel Quartets you’ve mentioned. Many years ago, someone recommended the Guarneri Quartet recording of those two masterpieces to me, and that disc has been my benchmark since (though I’ve heard a number of wonderful and very different live performances). It’ll be good to have a reliable alternate.

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