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Dvorak: String Quartets Opp. 51 And 105 [Import]

Antonin Dvorak , Alban Berg Quartett Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Alban Berg Quartett
  • Composer: Antonin Dvorak
  • Audio CD (March 13, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00004W478
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,843 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I: Allegro Non Troppo
2. II: Dumka (Elegia). Andante Con Moto - Vivace
3. III: Romanze. Andante Con Moto
4. IV: Allegro Assai
5. I: Adagio Ma Non Troppo - Allegro Appassionato
6. II: Molto Vivace
7. III: Lento E Molto Cantabile
8. IV: Allegro Non Tanto

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect perfomance, perfect recording August 4, 2001
Format:Audio CD
And some people won't like that. The Penguin CD guide routinely complains that the Berg quartet's recordings of the standard literature are too perfect, insufficiently gritty, insufficiently unusual. To my mind, however, that is what allows me to listen to their recordings over and over again with pleasure, when another group's idiosyncracies -- exciting at first -- would have palled.
This is a recording of two Dvorak quartets that are slightly less well known than the ubiquitous F-major "American". The second quartet on the disk (Op. 105 in Ab) is particularly uncommon. Both are given splendid performances, nicely recorded. Everything is right -- passion, sweetness that never overdoes itself, technique, ensemble. An excellent disk.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typically solid ABQ January 27, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This was the first disc of Dvorak's string quartets I ever bought, quite a few years ago. I liked it so much that it pushed me to further explore the rest of his chamber works, and the rest is, as they say, history. This was at a time when I was only familiar with Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Brahms and had just started to listen to classical music. I will always have a warm spot for this disc, and the ABQ for turning me on to a whole new world of musical enjoyment. I have since purchased the Panocha Quartet's set of Dvorak's quartets, which is excellent, but I still listen to this disc quite often.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When released in 2001, these live performances of two Dvorak quartets caught the ABQ at their best (in concert from 1999). Quartet no. 10 in particular is a miracle of supple ensemble in which the smallest nuances of tone and phrasing are uncannily shared by each musician. This reading comes as close as imaginable to a string quartet sounding like a single great musician. Compared to performances by native Czech groups, the ABQ's Dvorak is urbane, subtle, and poised. Don't expect earthiness or rustic atmosphere. It's a critical cliche to prefer Czech ensembles over the ABQ -- the Gramophone even went so far as to prefer (what else?) their favorite British quartet, the Lindsays. However that may be, any lover of string quartet playing should hear what the ABQ were like at their peak -- incomparable.

Although he wrote 14 string quartets, Dvorak's complete output is rarely heard in concert halls outside Czechoslovakia. After the famous and nearly ubiquitous Quartet no. 12, the "American," one of the most tuneful and cheerily accessible is no. 10. Dvorak was essentially a melodist and an optimist, so none of the quartets are tragically inclined. The last, no. 14, was written in 1895-96, bridging Dvorak's stay in America and his return to Bohemia. He was about to embrak on purely orchestral work, primarily the four late tone poems, so this is a significant work. It doesn't feel like a final statement or a summation of what came before. I find it another sunny work with a bit more ambition in terms of counterpoint and development. As vast as my admiration for the ABQ is, they seem a bit too aggressive in the opening movement. Otherwise, both readings reach the same impressive pinnacle, and EMI's close-up sound captures them with visceral impact.
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