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Comment: Book is in Good condition: All pages are intact. No underlined paragraphs or ink notes. May have small notes in pencil. May be a few pages with highlighting. Minor wear to pages and cover. Please email with any condition questions.
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String Quartets

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Audio CD, August 26, 2003
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, "From my life": I. Allegro vivo appassionato 6:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, "From my life": II. Allegro moderato a la Polka 5:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, "From my life": III. Largo sostenuto 7:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, "From my life": IV. Vivace 5:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. String Quartet No. 2 in D Major: I. Allegro moderato 7:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. String Quartet No. 2 in D Major: II. Scherzo: Allegro 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. String Quartet No. 2 in D Major: III. Notturno: Andante 7:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. String Quartet No. 2 in D Major: IV. Finale: Andante - Vivace 6:52$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 26, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Artek
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000AQS7X
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684,993 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Note: I'm not familiar iwth the Artek reissue of this Cd. This review applies to the Decca original, which has a confusing listing at amazon.

This energetic program of Smetana and Borodin was taped at the end of 1995, at a time when string quartets were not yet banished form major labels and when the Takacs still had two Hungarian members, second violin Karoly Scranz and cellist Andras Fejer. Even with two English members, the Tkacs were unusually bold players, to the point of offering sharp attacks, intense pacing, and blunt phrasing. They eschewed the elegance of the Tokyo quartet and the always beautiful unanimity of the Alban Berg. (Did growing up in the shadow of Soviet domination make them avoid Shostakovich? One would think their approach ideal for his restless, moody quartets.)

To lovers of the string quartet literature, the Smetana "From My Life" Quartet and the Borodin No. 2, famous for its lovely Nottorno (third movement, in place of an Adagio), are if anything overly familiar. I should hesitate before applying that label - literacy in this genre seems to be fast declining, and these delightful works may be new to many listeners. In both works the Takacs plays in a style I very much favor, leaving aside Victorian sweetness for more bite and thrust. Yet each instrumentalist possesses a lovely, distinctive tone, so there is no risk of homogeneity. The hard way to build a great quartet is through the meeting of strong personalities, yet in the end it's the most gratifying way.

My only reservation is that the audio perspective is fairly distant, as if in the concert hall. Inner detail isn't as clear as it could be, and at times the sound is blurry. but this is preferable to the edgy, shrill xray sound that Decca gave the Beethoven cycle made by the Takacs.
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String Quartets
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