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Mozart: Complete Viola Quintets / Fine Arts Ensemble


Release Date: 08/30/2005 
Label:  Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog #: 1159   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Francis TursiLeonard SorkinAbram LoftBernard Zaslav,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fine Arts String Quartet
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 39 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Recorded in 1975 and originally released by the Vox Music Group, these beautifully balanced performances will be familiar to many listeners. My favorite recordings of these works have included the subtle, rhythmically alert recordings by the Budapest Quartet on Sony and the tonally rich sessions led by violinist Artur Grumiaux on Philips. (The Grumiauxs have been available on two double-CD packages that contained all the quintets, including the horn quintet and clarinet quintet and, for good measure, I suppose, the Quartet K 516 thrown in. Now I see that they are available in a three-CD package that also includes the Trio, K 563.) I found the recordings of the Amadeus Quartet tonally more harsh and less pleasing overall.

The
Read more Fine Arts Quartet has rarely sounded better to my ears than on these mature masterpieces. Perhaps I am used to hearing them on scratchy Vox LPs. Music & Arts has done an excellent job at re-mastering here. The sound is compact, a bit distant, much as it would be if I were to hear the group live. The playing is superb; whether in the high drama of the Quintet in G Minor, or in rendering the playful, Haydnesque Minuet-Allegretto from K 593, the Fine Arts Quartet with violist Francis Tursi has an unaffected, but flexible approach to Mozart. They never rant, nor do they make the composer patrician. I imagine one advantage of this issue is that one finds the quintets on two discs. Another should be the richly idiomatic performances, whose tonal beauty, less lush than Grumiaux’s, is still effective.

Michael Ullman, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quintet for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello no 1 in B flat major, K 174 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Francis Tursi (Viola), Leonard Sorkin (Violin), Abram Loft (Violin),
Bernard Zaslav (Viola), George Sopkin (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fine Arts String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1773; Salzburg, Austria 
2.
Quintet for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello no 5 in D major, K 593 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Abram Loft (Violin), Bernard Zaslav (Viola), George Sopkin (Cello),
Francis Tursi (Viola), Leonard Sorkin (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fine Arts String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Quintet for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello no 3 in C major, K 515 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Abram Loft (Violin), Bernard Zaslav (Viola), Leonard Sorkin (Violin),
George Sopkin (Cello), Francis Tursi (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fine Arts String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Quintet for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello no 4 in G minor, K 516 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Abram Loft (Violin), Leonard Sorkin (Violin), Bernard Zaslav (Viola),
George Sopkin (Cello), Francis Tursi (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fine Arts String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Quintet for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello no 2 in C minor, K 406 (516b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Leonard Sorkin (Violin), Abram Loft (Violin), Bernard Zaslav (Viola),
George Sopkin (Cello), Francis Tursi (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fine Arts String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Quintet for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello no 6 in E flat major, K 614 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Francis Tursi (Viola), George Sopkin (Cello), Bernard Zaslav (Viola),
Abram Loft (Violin), Leonard Sorkin (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fine Arts String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Yay for Violas! May 18, 2015 By gwen t. (Culver City, CA) See All My Reviews "I love viola music - there aren't that many recordings where the viola is the star. I really enjoyed this CD!" Report Abuse
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