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Debussy/Ravel: String Quartets


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Audio CD, May 24, 2006
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The Keller Quartett was founded in 1987 in Budapest at the Liszt Conservatory of Music, where its members studied with Sandór Devich, András Mihály and György Kurtág. All three of these distinguished professors remain mentors, and Kurtág continues to compose music for the quartet. From the outset, the quartet distinguished itself with superlative ... Read more in Amazon's Keller Quartet Store

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Debussy/Ravel: String Quartets + String Quartet / American - Apex
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Product Details

  • Composer: Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel
  • Audio CD (May 24, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Apex
  • Run Time: 51 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005MOA8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,172 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. String Quartet In G Minor, Op.10: Anime Et Tres Decide
2. String Quartet In G Minor, Op.10: Assez Vif Et Bien Rythme
3. String Quartet In G Minor, Op.10: Andantino Doucement Expressif
4. String Quartet In G Minor, Op.10: Tres Modere
5. String Quartet In F Major: Allegro Moderato, Tres Doux
6. String Quartet In F Major: Assez Vif. Tres Rythme
7. String Quartet In F Major: Tres Lent
8. String Quartet In F Major: Vif Et Agite

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Lee on December 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
These two works, I feel, constitute the most musically enchanting impressionistic tone paintings of the chamber repertoire I have ever heard. At one moment, you are caught up in the most exotic rhythms. At another, you are enveloped by the sweetest, most songful sense of longing. But there's also mystery, exuberance, playfulness and eloquence. These things are all part of the collages these two French masters of sensuousness bring straight to the spirit, often with a compelling intensity.

Previously, I conveyed my views on a cluster of performances of these pieces by some of the finest chamber ensembles. In particular, I cited the outstanding effort of the Emerson Quartet. Now, I must offer praise for a group that, in my estimation, outdoes the Emerson on musical if not technical grounds---the Keller Quartet, on the lesser known Apex label. Listening to excerpts from the Keller's presentations whetted my appetite for hearing all they had to say about these pieces. I purchased their cd and then found myself swept away on a completely spellbinding adventure. There is a wonderful sense of rightness and satisfaction here, and at the price offered by vendors it is a steal!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jt52 on December 16, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have heard dozens of performances of the inspired quartets by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel over the years, live and in recording, and took a flier on this disc based on the amazon reviews. After listening to it a few times, I agree completely with the positive reviews. This is a top-shelf performance of both works and is a contender with some of the famous classic performances such as, for example, the Quartetto Italiano set that has been the benchmark for so many years. If you are looking for a single version of these two quartets, you can buy this and call it a day. By the way, both works were composed when the authors were young, Debussy was 31 and Ravel 28 (his quartet is from 1903, not the 1920s).

The Keller Quartet is a Hungarian ensemble led by 1st violinist Andras Keller. The ensemble actually specializes in Bartok and modern Hungarian music but are superb in this older French repertory. The Debussy interpretation is marked by particularly successful structural balance. The Keller Quartet builds perfectly to the opening allegro's final forte or, to take another example, beautifully alternate between solo and ensemble in the finale (track 4). Their approach to the Ravel is laid-back rather than aggressive. Both work beautifully. Recorded sonics are very good. This is a keeper.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "ts9641" on December 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I was hesitant, at first, in purchasing this recording: At $9 - who wouldn't be skeptical. But let me be the first to assure you these recordings of some of the most renowed literature in the chamber medium are at excellent quality for such a bargain price. The Debussy is exceptional - I have never heard it played with so much expression before. There are moments of supreme virtuosity balanced equally with lucid sound. And although - it isn't at Emerson statue (yet) the emotional output far exceeds that pedagogue - that Emerson. My only complaint is that at times - in piano sections - the first violin tends to play inaudibly while it has the melody. The Ravel is phenominal - I can almost picture a 1920's atmosphere - the kind that it paints fo rthe listener - the industrial world of the sound of daily hum drum. Especially that jazzy episode inteh first violin abuot 2 minutes into the first mov. Wonderful music - winderful pathos!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 410 on March 2, 2012
Format: Audio CD
There are plenty of good recordings available of the Debussy/Ravel Quartets. Don't be fooled by the low price here, this ranks with some of the best.

While clearly virtuosic, the Keller quartet avoids flashy displays of technique and focus more on phrasing and rubato that suits the music. I've lost count of the number of different recordings I've heard of the Debussy/Ravel Quartets, but this performance for me is easily as good as celebrated accounts by the Italianos, whose second stereo cycle seems to be in a similar vein as this disc. The Kellers play with soul and let the music sing in the tradition of the Vegh Quartet, a great fellow Hungarian ensemble that clearly influenced their ethos. Keller is apparently the judge for the the Sandor Vegh String Quartet competition. Hopefully a wise record company will issue more of their recordings, including their performances of modern works. I haven't heard a dud in their modest discography.
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