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Bela Bartok: The 6 String Quartets - Emerson String Quartet

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 14, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

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The six quartets of Bartók have been well represented on record, far better than the six of Schoenberg or the fifteen of Shostakovich. The choice on Compact Disc, however, is an easy one, for the Emerson Quartet not only plays the music better than any other ensemble, but gets all six essays onto two discs. Making roses out of what must seem more like a collection of thistles to most others who attempt to play the set, the Emerson players show the kind of ensemble polish that caused one European critic to complain, "too smooth.... I like my Bartók rougher." But awkwardness and rhythmic uncertainty, which have made many a lesser group sound rough in this music, should not be confused with expressive edge, which the Emersons bring to the music in full measure. Their readings are extraordinarily revealing, high-intensity, not at all for the faint of heart. With the odd-numbered quartets on one disc and the even on the other, each CD is a "microcosmos" of the whole set. The sound quality is excellent throughout. --Ted Libbey

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Product details

  • Performer: Eugene Drucker, Lawrence Dutton, David Finckel, Philip Setzer, Emerson String Quartet
  • Composer: Bela Bartok
  • Audio CD (November 14, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001G9O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,077 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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