Beethoven / Mendelssohn: String Quartets - BeethovenQuartett
Audiomax 946 1573-6 (2 discs)
Classical - Chamber
Beethoven: String Quartet in A minor Op. 132, Mendelssohn: String Quartet in A minor Op. 13
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Review by John Broggio - November 17, 2009
This release is on MDG's sub-label Audiomax and as one might expect from the name, is given a fine recording for the players to display their expertise and musicianship.
Much of the work that one hears is good, with a sensible choice of tempi and a tasteful use of vibrato and rubato throughout. The Heiliger Dankgesang is suitably static and conveys a religious atmosphere convincingly. Likewise, in the Mendelssohn, the quasi-Sturm und Drang qualities are put to the fore and a good account is delivered.
There is an important qualifier to all of this good work that will be very important to a great many listeners. Namely it is that the recording sounds like a single-take concert. Some aspects are good - there is a spontaneous aspect to the music making that is most pleasing. Less pleasing though is the BeethovenQuartett's use of no less than 4 different ideas of tuning between them - on a one off hearing, such as in a concert setting, this is acceptable and forgiveable but in studio conditions for repeated listening? I simply cannot recommend it to all but the most ardent fans of this quartet.
Copyright © 2009 John Broggio and HRAudio.net