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Britten: Complete String Quartets Import

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, May 18, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

The Britten Quartet

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Allegro Maestoso
  2. Lento Ed Espressivo
  3. Allegro Giocoso
  4. Boisterous Bourre
  5. Playful Pizzicato
  6. Sentimental Saraband
  7. Frolicsome Finale
  8. Andante Sostenuto - Allegro Vivo
  9. Allegretto Con Slancio
  10. Andante Calmo
  11. Molto Vivace

Disc: 2

  1. Allegro Calmo Senza Rigore
  2. Vivace
  3. Chacony, Sostenuto
  4. Duets
  5. Ostinato
  6. Solo
  7. Burlesque
  8. Recitative and Passacaglia (La Serenissima)


Product Details

  • Performer: The Britten Quartet
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (May 18, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B003BLFZFU
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,687 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
these performances, recorded around 1990, are superb. the ensemble, balance and intonation of the four players is impeccable; the timbre of each instrument is distinctive yet they blend together in complete unity of purpose. the readings are incisive, witty, dancing, lyrical, dramatic, eery, violent, heartfelt and virtuosic as the music demands, but the tone is always beautiful and there is very little of the squealing attack or scritching bite that one hears when bowing loses control under the effort of interpretation. (passages in the 3rd quartet seem to require those delirious bowing colors but they are produced with tact.) the tempi are well judged, and while the "chacony" of the 2nd quartet is a few minutes longer than typical, the solemn pace unfolds the pathos of this movement with great dignity: the final chords are massive and irresistible. the audio engineering captures every detail within a flat acoustic environment -- this is the first recording where i clearly heard the bridge mute used by the first violin in the "vivace" of the 2nd quartet.

although the three movement divertimento is missing, it is a great treat to have the "simple symphony" in its quartet version, and while i would exchange the divertimento for the quartet in D -- a youthful (1931) composition that britten revised in 1974 while convalescing from heart surgery -- it is nice to have this piece available. the booklet is full of enlightening personal background about the composition of these extraordinary chamber works, for me a highlight of the 20th century repertory.

there are many good recordings of the three britten quartets in the catalog, but this is incontestably among the best.
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Verified Purchase
Wonderful music in gorgeous performances. My only regret is I've spent so much of my life without it.
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Verified Purchase
If you only know Britten as an opera composer or for the Beginner's Guide to the Orchestra, the string quartets will change your view! Elegant, gorgeous, continually surprising music! A must for all classical music lovers!
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