Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
The Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross
COVIELLO 20905 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 63:51)
Seventy years ago, the violist William Primrose formed his own string quartet. Their first recording for RCA Victor was this music, never before recorded in the quartet
arrangement. Fifteen years later, the same label signed a string quartet made up of first-chair players of the Boston SO, and their first recording was this music. So it is not unprecedented that this new ensemble, just organized last year, quickly made its first recording, choosing this music for its debut. In a review of the latest orchestral version of this piece (33:1), I counted 106 recordings of this work in all its manifestations. I quickly discovered several more that had not come my way in recent years, but this is the first surround-sound version I know of.
The new ensemble has chosen the Viennese Classical period for its area of concentration. Their sound is delicate, much like the Festetics Quartet (15:5) or the Quatuor Mosaïques (16:4), but both of those performances are somewhat slower. Scaramouche moves right along in moments that I would prefer to dwell on more meditatively. But they do produce a lovely sound, enhanced by a warm if unidentified space. Among so many fine performances of the work, this will appeal especially to those who want to hear the music in five channels.
FANFARE: J. F. Weber
Works on This Recording
Seven last words of Christ on the Cross, Op. 51/H 3 no 50-56 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Scaramouche String Quartet
Written: 1787; Eszterhazá, Hungary
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