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Schubert: String Quintet in C, D. 956 / Rondo in A, D. 438

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 2, 1991
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$16.75 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. String Quintet In C Major, D. 956: I. Allegro ma non troppo
  2. String Quintet In C Major, D. 956: II. Adagio
  3. String Quintet In C Major, D. 956: III. Scherzo: Presto; Trio: Andante sostenuto
  4. String Quintet In C Major, D. 956: IV. Allegretto
  5. Rondo In A Major For Violin & String Quartet, D. 438: Adagio; Allegro giusto


Product Details

  • Performer: Kenneth Slowik, Anner Bylsma, Steven Dann, Vera Beths, Lisa Rautenberg, et al.
  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (July 2, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000027BY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,138 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Discophage TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 8, 2012
The recording was made in November 1990 and the ensemble wasn't billed as Archibudelli but that's who they are, really, with Vera Beths as violinist and Kenneth Slowik and Anner Bylsma as cellists. They play Stradivarius instruments from the Smithsonian collection, gut-stringed, which imparts an affecting mellowness and roundness to their tonal production. It makes me wonder why so few "period-instrument" ensembles (which usually means only gut-stringed) have tackled Schubert's Quintet; the only other ones I am aware of are Collegium Aureum on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi at the end of the LP era (reissued on CD only in Japan) and the Festetics Quartet on the French label Arcana, François Schubert: Grand Quintet en Ut. Archibudelli's interpretation of Schubert C-Major Quintet is interesting - more "interesting" than entirely convincing.

Interesting, first, because of their extremely brisk pacing of the first movement, more "Allegro" (and even molto) than "non troppo". Archibudelli is indeed among a small handful of ensembles in the recorded history of Schubert's Quintet that took such a swift first movement, with Heifetz and friends the most extreme, to my ears to the point of caricature even (Quintet in C). Archibudelli takes some 30 seconds more to get through the first movement (exposition repeat subtracted to make things comparable, since Heifetz didn't play it), which puts them in the same league with the 1963 Taneyev Quartet (
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Don't be fooled: the period instruments are no gimmick. This is an exquisite rendering of the D956, full of brooding tenderness in the Adagio and of delightful energy in the other movements. It is not as slick or polished as some other recordings (e.g. the Alban Berg Quartet's EMI, which I would also highly recommend), and the recording is crystal clear, i.e. unforgiving. The result may not be to everyone's taste (the sample tracks give a good idea of what to expect), but I have never heard a more satisfying version of this work. Shame on Sony for letting it lapse from their catalog! BTW, I discovered this CD by following a tip from John Grabowksi's review of the Emerson/Rostropovich recording, which you should have a look at if you're trying to decide which D956 to buy.
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This is so much the best performance of the Schubert Quintet in C Major that I'm horrified to find only a few used copies available. Buy it now!
When I first got the CD, some ten years ago, and listened to it, I was mystified. "Why have I never heard this piece of music before?" I asked myself. Then I realized that I had two other performances on CD in my collection already, but that this one was so much more vivid and spacious that I hadn't recognized it. I dug it out to listen again after being reminded of it by a review by Mike Birman of Schubert's piano works. Thanks, Mike!
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