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  • Schubert: String Quartets Nos. 13 & 14- Death and the Maiden
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Schubert: String Quartets Nos. 13 & 14- Death and the Maiden Import

10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, November 14, 2006
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Schubert: String Quartets Nos. 13 & 14- Death and the Maiden + Schubert: String Quintet D.956 / String Quartet D.703- Quartettsatz
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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The Takács Quartet, after building an enviable catalogue of excellent recordings for Decca, particularly their Beethoven Quartets, now turn to Schubert with peerless results. The Death and the Maiden Quartet has had many fine recordings but this one is unparalleled in its impact as the Takács intensify the drama and melancholy that pervade the work. Accents are bold, tempos are mostly brisk without being overly hurried, and heartstrings are tugged by the pathos of the Andante. Pointed phrasing and steady rhythms give the Scherzo its power while the outer movements have a frightening, almost demonic intensity. The earlier Rosamunde Quartet is almost on the same extraordinary level. Quibblers may find the opening faster than they prefer, but the Takács still make it sound tenderly nostalgic with a hint of the tragic lurking just beneath the surface. They also project the grimness of the work while aptly softening the demonic energy pervading their Death and the Maiden. Even as they differentiate the two quartets, they preserve characteristic Takács traits such as beautiful tone, tonal balances, flawless solos, and rhythmic vitality. Even their loudest fortissimos never turn harsh, thanks in part to Hyperion's uncannily life-like engineering. --Dan Davis

1. Allegro
2. Andante Con Moto
3. Scherzo: Allegro Molto
4. Presto
5. Allegro Ma Non Troppo
6. Andante
7. Menuetto: Allegretto
8. Allegro Moderato

Product Details

  • Performer: Takacs Quartet
  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (November 14, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B000I5Y8W8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,489 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. Myers on November 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is the absolute best recording of these two quartets to date. The Takacs Quartet has impressed many with their previous recordings, and this will impress them even more with this new release. Their new partnership with Hyperion is off to a great start. The acoustics of the hall are perfect, not too dry - not too much eco. The balance of the recording is superb with each instrument being presented equally. The interpretation of the D 810 "death and the maiden" is jam packed full of excitement. They play with unbelievable drive and intensity while making sure never to over-do anything. The D 804 "Rosamunde" quartet is the definition of beauty. Every phrase is treated with care and never, never is a line forgotten. If your looking for a recording that is satisfying in all ways, unlike the Emerson Quartets recording (which I find to be extremely technically perfect but nothing else), this is a must buy recording. Even if you own the great Busch Quartet recordings of these works you should invest in these unmatched performances.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These are two of the most recorded String Quartets - so who needs another set?

The new line up of the Takacs Quartet proves that we all do! Their ensemble is impeccable and makes me, for one, to listen to these works anew.

The speed for the first movement of the "Maiden" may be a little fast for some ears - but they bring it off. As for the slow movement - I have never heard it better played.

The "Rosamunde" is equally well done and this is a `must have' CD for all lovers of Schubert

It was one of the top recommendations of "The Gramophone" magazine - and no wonder!

If you love Schubert - I urge you to buy this CD - you will not be disappointed!
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David A. Wend on January 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Franz Schubert wrote his 13th and 14th quartets in 1824 having not written anything in the form for several years. These were important compositions for Schubert and he dedicated them to Ignaz Schuppanzigh who was the leader of a string quartet whose opinion of the 14th quartet was unfortunately not favorable). As the notes for the CD point out, Schubert was in a melancholy mood having discovered that he has syphilis and also from the belief that his youth was gone never to be recovered. I knew of the Takacs Quartet through reputation only until the advent of this CD. From the opening bars it is evident that this recording of Schubert's most popular string quartets is special; tempos are well judged and the phrasing is beautiful. The Takacs bring out the symphonic elements of the music with precision.

The 13th quartet bears the name Rosamunde as Schubert included one of the melodies he had written for the play. In contrast to Schubert's other quartets, all of the movements of the 13th begin pianissimo. The Andante quotes the well-know them from the Rosemunde incidental music at first played as a pleasant minuet but then restated with more agitation. The Menuetto is sadly sweet and the Finale has a Hungarian twist.

The 14th goes by the name Death and the Maiden for a melody Schubert uses in the second movement borrowed from a song. The subject of the quartet is concerned with the loss of youth and indeed the tone of the Andante is one of melancholy. The opening movement is a contrast of tension and relaxation as the melodies alternate between a state of agitation and calm. The Scherzo is dance-like with a trio that is quiet and graceful and the tarantella Finale is wildly exuberant.

Even if you already have these quartets on CD you will want to hear the new Takacs Quartet recordings. The recording is beautifully done and the booklet notes by Mischa Donat are very informative.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By toronto on April 3, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Terrific performance, and great sound. The recording is warmer and more "wraparound" than my other version, the Italian Quartet (great too). A couple of weird sounds here and there (a shout?).
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By Albert on January 26, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
No finer performance of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" quartet exists. There are others with an equally valid approach - such as the Tokyo Quartet, but for intensity and commitment, as well as technically brilliance, the Takacs are exceptional.
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Schubert: String Quartets Nos. 13 & 14- Death and the Maiden
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