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  • Sibelius / Grieg: String Quartets
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Sibelius / Grieg: String Quartets


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Audio CD, June 14, 1991
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$19.95 $5.59

Product Details

  • Performer: Guarneri Quartet, Arnold Steinhardt, John Dalley, Michael Tree, David Soyer
  • Composer: Jean Sibelius, Edvard Grieg
  • Audio CD (June 14, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Phillips
  • ASIN: B00000E498
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,360 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jt52 on August 7, 2012
Format: Audio CD
This 1989 disc is a successful Philips release by an aging Guarneri Quartet which features the 1878 G-minor quartet by Edvard Grieg and the 1909 "Voces intime" Quartet by Jan Sibelius. The Guarneris play well, with gusto or with sensitivity, as needed. I found their rendition of the second movement of the Sibelius particularly evocative. Although there are occasional intonation issues, the playing is mostly technically sound. The sonic engineering is very good, which helps the disc.

I am not convinced the two works are great, but it contains some attractive music. The Grieg is a full-length work, over half an hour in length, and built from a falling-and-rising motive clearly heard throughout the four movements. Truth be told, I am not generally a big fan of Grieg, and found the music unmemorable, although certainly tuneful. The Sibelius Voces intime is the only mature quartet from the celebrated composer. My impression is that it gathers in quality, with the last two of its five movements being the most interesting. That said, Sibelius wasn't as comfortable writing for the quartet as for orchestra and never returned to the ensemble. I compared the Guarneri performance to the Decca release by the Fitzwilliam quartet and found the Guarneri to be preferable in every way, from tempo selection, to feel for the Sibelius style, to dynamic range.

This is a well-done, generally enjoyable recording, but I found the music to be flawed, although with some very good moments. The playing by the Guarneri to be largely very satisfying but with a few issues here and there. 4 stars.
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