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Schubert: String Quintet D. 956/String Quartet D. 810 "Death and the Maiden"

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 27, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Quintette à cordes D956, Quatuors à cordes n°14 "La Jeune fille et la Mort", et n°12 "Quartettsatz" - The Lindsays, avec Douglas Cummings, violoncelle (Quintette)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. First Movement: Allegro
  2. Second Movement: Andante Con Moto
  3. Third Movement: Scherzo (Allegro Molto) - Trio
  4. Fourth Movement: Presto
  5. String Quartet No. 12 In C Minor, D703 'Quartettsatz'

Disc: 2

  1. First Movement: Allegro Ma Non Troppo
  2. Second Movement: Adagio
  3. Third Movement: Scherzo (Presto) - Trio (Andante Sostenuto)
  4. Fourth Movement: Finale: Allegretto


Product Details

  • Performer: The Lindsays, Douglas Cummings
  • Audio CD (February 27, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B0000542HL
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,716 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It appears that reviewer sky5361 and I are severely at odds over the merits of the Lindsays' recording of the Schubert Quintet. Interestingly enough we do agree on one matter. I agree that the Lindsays are not a perfect ensemble. False intonation and the occasional "scrappy" attack do find there way (sometimes often) into their performances. However, to be fair, I've never played or have seen a professional live quartet play anything without similar problems. On this point I find it refreshing that the Lindsays choose to leave in blemishes if their musical point has been made rather than include a vanity splice to prevent reviewers from attacking their technical abilities. As far as musicianship is concerned, I (and many other professioanl chamber music colleagues of mine) believe the Lindsays are second to none in there ability to capture the spirit of the compositions. On a purely technical point, the Lindsays are masterful at their abilities to balance to one another in a fashion that allows every note that needs to be heard ring in total clarity. There is no lack of sensitivity to what is important in the musical argument. The individual playing may not be as fine as some, but faulting them for such a matter would condemn similar artists such as Pablo Casals and Yehudi Menuhin who were by no means technical giants in comparison to some of there colleagues. To "wrap it up" let me conclude by saying that the Lindsays will not be for everyone, but I would suggest experiencing their playing first before making an opinion. This CD was the first performance of theirs that I heard and needless to say, I would be disappointed if I never got to know their playing.
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Format: Audio CD
Agreeance with Don, Come on Amazon - how DOES one get more than one parting shot at a review?

I too cannot help but make some of my own observations about this set by the Lindsays. I have never read the Penguin Guide as I find it inferior to the similar publication produced by Gramophone. This led me to the purchase of the Busch rendition of 1937, which I found fascinating if at times frustrating soundwise. My purchase of the Lindsay set came as a result not of any biased guide or opinion but as a result of the impression their recording of the late Beethoven Quartets left upon me.

Who cares if some English hack with a nationalist streak says the Lindsays' are the new messiahs or if American hacks of a similar vain say something quite the opposite - I for one have more discernment than to look to the opinions of others to ensure the 'validity' of my purchase. I find it far more pleasurable to make the discovery - pleasant or otherwise - myself.

As for the current recording, whilst I still prefer the Berg for the quintet, I found the performance wonderful with the Lindsay's 'raw style' never getting in the way of the music. As for the Adagio I only wish it could go on forever... of course that's just me.

The Lindsays are a fine outfit, and our comprehension and interpretation of the pieces they have recorded and performed is greater for it.
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Format: Audio CD
Schubert’s music is so great you might think that if you just play the notes it will take care of itself. But if you play too fast you get “Schubert lite”; too slow (striving for gravitas) and you lose the 1820s Vienna atmosphere. An Apollonian style – which sometimes works with Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, or Brahms – misses the uniqueness of Schubert completely baring his [musical] psyche; but if intense feelings lead to harshly played notes, they destroy the lyricism that is Schubert’s language for baring his psyche. Peter Cropper and the Lindsay String Quintet, a British ensemble that stayed together from 1965 to 2005 always get Schubert right. They play with intensity and concentration second to none while preserving all the lyricism and singing quality of Schubert. They are four distinct individuals who play as a team. The sound recording quality from ASV is outstanding. This set of two CDs includes Quartets No. 12 in C minor, D. 703 (“Quartettsatz”) and No. 14 in D minor, D. 810 (“Death and the Maiden”) and the Quintet in C major, D. 956.

Schubert wrote the single movement of the Quartettsatz in 1820, when he was just 23; he saw that his sketches for additional movements would not add anything important and he abandoned them. “It is the first work in which Schubert reached full maturity as an instrumental composer.” [Brian Newbould] The D minor quartet is from 1824; Schubert was at the height of his powers during the last five years of his life (1824-1828) and wrote one masterpiece after another. The Quartettsatz and the 1st movement of the D minor quartet have it all: roller-coaster emotions, gorgeous melodies, and extensive motivic development already starting in the exposition section; they utterly blow away the myth that “Schubert could not write a proper sonata movement.
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Format: Audio CD
You may like to know that this excellent recording by The Lindsays is now included in a budget-price 4CD box set of all their Schubert discs. It's a superb box and a fantastic bargain: Schubert: The Late String Quartets; String Quintet.
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