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Gerhard: Complete String Quartets

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Audio CD, February 12, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

On CD for the first time: the complete quartets of Spanish master Roberto Gerhard performed by the Arditti Quartet, to whom the works are dedicated. After Manuel de Falla, Gerhard is the boldest, most brilliant representative of the music of his country. Born in Catalonia and Arnold Schönberg s sole Spanish student, Gerhard would be forced into exile by the civil war, become a British citizen, and finish out his life in Cambridge. His encounter with the Arditti Quartet was determining, as attests this superb recording of what can be considered the composer s masterworks.

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Product Details

  • Performer: Irvine Arditti, Ashot Sarkissjan, Ralf Ehlers, Lucas Fels
  • Composer: Roberto Gerhard
  • Audio CD (February 12, 2013)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Aeon
  • ASIN: B009SCVJ7Y
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,436 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By 21st Century Reviews on May 4, 2013
Format: Audio CD
For years, the Kreutzer Quartet's has been our only only recording of Gerhard's frankly wonderful two string quartets. Were there any recordings in the lp era? Here is a case for the word "neglected", and the question "why?" The Kreutzer are no doubt the Arditti's peers, having traversed Finnissy and Coates, along with other odd 20th century repertoire.

But, the actual sound quality of the Metier Sound + Vision disc (not much 'sound' in the S+V?), can we agree?, is a touch, not muffled, but slightly distant in a noticeable way, taking away from the inner life of the instruments' up-front sound production. It's just not a great recording. "Serviceable" is the word the critics use?

Well, of course, what did you expect from the Ardittis, in this, one of their few (lately at least) "traditional" composers, if I may? Frankly, the two groups seem more than equals in the playing department, I mean I don't think we ever had a problem with the Kreutzers' playing. So, in a way, that part of the new disc is a vanity disappointment. But I'm not going to knock the Arditti just because the Kreutzer perform just as well.

The main point is of course the highly anticipated sound quality that anyone could be forgiven for expecting in this new release. I would have staked the Ferrari on a 10/10 rating, and that's what we naturally get out of the folks at Aeon (surely any, and every, modern recording company has done right by the Ardittis?). Well, again a vanity disappointment, because, all we get is perfect sound, which, I'm sure, we've all fantasized whilst listening to the Metier. I guess I loved the music so much that their sound quality was easily overlooked; here, presented to us, is simply the manifestation of everyone's fantasies.
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Gerhard: Complete String Quartets
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