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  • Bartok: String Quartets Nos. 2, 4, & 6 ~ Euclid Quartet
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Bartok: String Quartets Nos. 2, 4, & 6 ~ Euclid Quartet

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Audio CD, May 25, 2010
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$18.33 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Bartok: String Quartets Nos. 2, 4, & 6 ~ Euclid Quartet + Bartok: String Quartets Nos. 1, 3 & 5
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  • Sample this album Title (Sample)
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2:43
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Product Details

  • Performer: Euclid Quartet
  • Composer: Bartok
  • Audio CD (May 25, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Artek
  • ASIN: B003E113GM
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,410 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Here's a stunning new American quartet, formed in 1998, whose members come from the U.S., England, China, and Venezuela -- would it be fair to call them our first global string quartet? I had never heard of the Euclid, which comes, somewhat improbably, out of Kent State Univ. their name refers to Euclid Ave. in Cleveland, known to trivia hobbyists as the street where severance Hall is located, home of the Cleveland Orch. The group has won prizes and since 2006 has participated at the Aspen Music Festival.

No one would imagine that Bartok's quartets need a new recording, but in Qts. #2, #4, and #6 the Euclids bring to bear some toustanding qualities. the recorded sound is gorgeous, far and away the best I've ever heard in these works; it leaves the muzzy Alban Berg Qt. recording on EMI and the overly bright, even glaring Emerson Qt. version on DG in the dust, notwithstanding that both are outstanding accounts musically. Secondly, the Euclids are individual players with a compelling, even ravishing sound. You can taste the timbre of each instrument. finally, they are so skilled that these difficult works come off as second nature. This is a testament, I think, to a younger generation of post-Kronos, post-Emerson quartets who consider their calling to be hip. At their website the Euclids pose with the buzz cuts and body-hugging couture one might see on a sunny day along the Left Bank in Paris.

I don't know what tis group would do in late Beethoven or Mozart, but Bartok's quartets are amenable to to the kind of clean, precise, highly articulated style that the Euclids share with the Emersons. They are less aggressive, more witty and varied, and meticulous about capturing every hairpin turn in mood and texture, of which these three works are full to the brim. I won't detail the three performances, because anyone interested in the Euclid Qt. is highly likely to already know Bartok's output. If you fall into that category, here's a real treat awaiting you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LEV on November 6, 2010
Format: Audio CD
If I were trying to interest someone in the quartets of Bela Bartok, I would give him this album. It not only is superbly played and beautifully recorded, but it gives every indication of being the work of young musicians who have grown up with the music and speak Bartok like a second language.
The group was formed in Ohio in 1998 and took its name from Cleveland's Euclid Avenue, the locale of many of the city's artistic and cultural organizations, a sort of mini American equivalent of Unter dem Linden in pre-World War II Berlin. Since 2007 it has been Quartet in- residence at the South Bend campus of Indiana University. Among its stops on tour have been Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Aspen Music Festival, and Osaka, Japan.
Composer Elliott Carter once told an interviewer how glad he would be to hear performers truly interpret his music. He felt that too many players were afraid or too polite to dig into his music. Carter might enjoy hearing the Euclid live dangerously in Bartok's music. After four daunting movements in Quartet 4, they dive into the fifth and last movement like hussars arriving for a Magyar homecoming festival, ready to dance the night out. It is wild and wonderful, topped off by the cello's gorgeous double-stop downward glissando near the end. But the group also dares to be quiet and introspective in search of the soulful sadness that lies at the heart of No. 6, written just on the eve of World War II. And rarely has a group found such meaning and vision in the often taken-for-granted No. 2 of the World War I era. Bring on Quartets 1, 3, and 5.
The performances were recorded at the Sauder Concert Hall at Goshen College in Indiana, produced and engineered by Da-Hong Seetoo. The members of the Euclid should be named: Jameson Cooper and Jacob Murphy, violins, Luis Enrique Vargas, viola, and David Beem, cello.
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