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Schubert: Last 4 Quartets


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Audio CD, April 11, 1995
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$16.46
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$16.46 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Schubert: String Quartet No.14 in D minor, D.810 -"Death and the Maiden" - 1. AllegroQuartetto Italiano11:36Album Only
listen  2. Schubert: String Quartet No.14 in D minor, D.810 -"Death and the Maiden" - 2. Andante con motoQuartetto Italiano14:13Album Only
listen  3. Schubert: String Quartet No.14 in D minor, D.810 -"Death and the Maiden" - 3. Scherzo (Allegro molto)Quartetto Italiano 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Schubert: String Quartet No.14 in D minor, D.810 -"Death and the Maiden" - 4. PrestoQuartetto Italiano 8:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Schubert: String Quartet No.13 in A minor, D.804 - "Rosamunde" - 1. Allegro ma non troppoQuartetto Italiano14:25Album Only
listen  6. Schubert: String Quartet No.13 in A minor, D.804 - "Rosamunde" - 2. AndanteQuartetto Italiano 8:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Schubert: String Quartet No.13 in A minor, D.804 - "Rosamunde" - 3. Menuetto (Allegretto)Quartetto Italiano 6:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Schubert: String Quartet No.13 in A minor, D.804 - "Rosamunde" - 4. Allegro moderatoQuartetto Italiano 7:14$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Schubert: String Quartet No.15 in G, D.887 - 1. Allegro molto moderatoQuartetto Italiano22:52Album Only
listen  2. Schubert: String Quartet No.15 in G, D.887 - 2. Andante un poco mossoQuartetto Italiano13:33Album Only
listen  3. Schubert: String Quartet No.15 in G, D.887 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)Quartetto Italiano 7:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Schubert: String Quartet No.15 in G, D.887 - 4. Allegro assaiQuartetto Italiano11:18Album Only
listen  5. Schubert: String Quartet No.12 in C minor, D.703 - "Quartettsatz" - Allegro assaiElisa Pegreffi and Franco Rossi and Paolo Borciani and Piero Farulli and Quartetto Italiano10:55Album Only


Frequently Bought Together

Schubert: Last 4 Quartets + Schubert: String Quintet in C, d. 956 + Trout Quintet / Arpeggione Sonata / Die Forelle
Price for all three: $39.46

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Product Details

  • Performer: Quartetto Italiano
  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (April 11, 1995)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B0000041BX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Few quartets match this legendary Italian ensemble for tonal sheen and refinement. The ensemble imbues the famous variations movement of "Death and the Maiden" with a kind of choked inwardness that never dematerializes into bathos. One might wish the players to allow Schubert's extroverted moments their giddy head, rather than reigning things in. The group embarks upon the composer's other-worldly G Major Quartet with quiet, trembling tread, making you work with them as they divine the music's visionary beauties and dark truths. Listen to this performance in a quiet space, with the lights out. --Jed Distler

Customer Reviews

Their emotionally powerful playing can bring out all the pathos and anguish this work has.
Lachrimae
There is, of course, that complete cycle of Beethoven's quartets that has garnered much acclaim and that may be my next acquisition.
NUC MED TECH
Schubert's String Quartets are exquisitely beautiful and the Quartetto Italiano do them justice.
brotagonist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J-c on July 31, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The Quartetto Italiano (Le Quartet Italien) have produced a bunch of excellent albums through the years, but among others this one stands out as a crucial release. This is one of the most celebrated recordings of Schubert's late quartets and for some good reasons. Here they introduce one of the finest 'Death and the Maiden' on disc. Although the competition is huge, it remains a refined and enlivened performance that has special merits. Of course, vintage versions by the Busch Quartet and also by the Juilliard String Quartet are steady references the Quartetto will be forgiven for not completely achieving. The Busch Quartet, especially, is still unsurpassed in this domain. The Quartetto's dazzling Quartet in G is equally splendid, as does the Quartettsatz. The music has guts with no compromise on harmonic detail and elegance. The overall clarity of sound and delineation of instruments are striking. Comparatively, the Brandis Quartet -with a particularly excellent 'Rosamunde'- suffers a bit from a slightly harsh top end (violin) that contrasts with the warmer and more disciplined string tone present on the Quartetto Italiano's recording. The Brandis is, sonics aside, a very good set of the quartets even so it can't match the Quartetto in most areas (except, perhaps, for the shimmering 'Rosamunde'). There are plenty of superb recordings of those works, especially the 'Maiden', including (among the names to watch): The Auryn Quartet, Verdi Quartet, Amadeus Quartet, Budapest Quartet, Melos Quartet, Leipzig String Quartet, Alban Berg Quartet, Aria Quartet, Petersen Quartet, Guarneri String Quartet, as well as the famous Emerson Quartet. You can't go wrong with any of them. The Quartetto Italiano belongs to this category, and sometimes it can and effectively does even surpass one or another in a few minor areas. A great package, imbued with a nice touch of quality a la Philips Classics.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alan Lekan on May 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The great composer Franz Schubert is often talked about as a "late bloomer," referring to how his last compositions emerged with great maturity, emotional complexity and consumate skill. These last four quartets are part of this final, masterful phase of Schubert's short life as a composer and should be in every chamber-music collector's shelf.

Among the finest performances of these great quartets stands the recordings here from the legendary Quartetto Italiano - one of the top quartets in the 60's and 70's. The Quartetto Italiano really have a nack for penetrating the depths of such emotive works as #14 or #15 and bring out the intended drama and pathos within.

Their powerful reading of the great, last quartet in G (#15) is especially noted by many major reviewers as one of the finest recordings of this complex masterpiece. The first movement in particular is epic in scale (lasting some 25 minutes) and exudes a powerful, anguished emotional mood which the Italianos bring out with tremedous depth and passion that can send chills down your spine. In all, their playing is of the highest caliber and just sounds superb in terms of synchonicity, intonation and phrasing. Their unison within cresendos is impeccable as was their ability to create sonorities on a "symphonic scale."

However, I found one quirky sonic flaw throughout the entire "Death and the Maiden" and other quartets when listening with headphones: there was an intermittent and jarring "booming" sound that is quite distracting. It is probably not be an issue without headphones, but be forewarned nevertheless. Overall, the sound quality is very good but not perfect given the transfer to CD from the 1960's analog tapes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chad Rosin on February 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD
How can people give this less than 4 stars!? The performance by the Quartetto Italiano is great. Very confident and powerful playing. If you like "in your face" recordings you will like this. Very close miked and "hot" sound. Clearly played and wonderfully recorded. There may be better individual recordings, but as a set of four this is a stone cold bargain. I would highly recommend this cd.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lachrimae on February 26, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is a classic recording that has remained in the market for decades of years. Though it doesn't offer these works in the best sound and the repertoire has too much competition, this recording still can hold its own against most of the contenders, and there are clearly reasons for that.

Their playing here is full-bodied and emotionally powerful in every moment. But some might be dissatisfied by the slowish tempo (especially in the 15th quartet). Generally speaking, the 12th ("Quartettsatz") and suffers from being too heavy and ponderous, while the 13th ("Rosamunde"), 14th ("Death and the Maiden") and 15th benefit from their rich and full-powered playing.

A comparison with the recording by Auryn Quartet is instructive here, since Quartetto Italiano and Auryn Quartett represent two contrasting styles. While the former is rooted in the romantic tradition, the latter is more modern and straighfoward. In the 13th and 14th quartets, Auryn's bleak approach and Italiano's anguished playing are both good choices. While Italians suffer in the 12th (they doesn't have the thrill needed), Auryn's more leaner phrasing and vitality really make the gigue rhythm in the 12th alive.

Despite of the weaknesses, I give this CD 5 stars because of their monumental playing of the 15th quartet. As the reviewer Alan Lekan pointed, this recording might be the best interpretation of this grand piece.

As I stated in the title of this review, the 15th, Schubert's final work in this genre, is a veritable symphony for just 4 little instruments. In a letter to one of his friends, Schubert tells that by writing these works he was paving the way for towards a grand symphony. When listening to this work, one can easily agree.
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