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Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky: Works For String Quartet / Alban Berg Quartet

Ravel / Debussy / Berg,Alban
Release Date: 01/24/2012 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 85202   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude DebussyMaurice RavelIgor Stravinsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


Strange, but it’s been a while since a really great recording of this coupling has appeared. Maybe the Debussy and Ravel Quartets are falling out of fashion. I don’t know where the Alban Berg Quartett got that annoying extra “t” in “Quartet,” but it’s easy to forgive that conceit when they turn in performances this brilliant. With generally swift tempos in both works, the Bergers manage to distinguish the smokey passion of their Debussy from the almost supernatural finesse of their Ravel.

You can hear the difference in to the two sound samples posted below: first, there’s the urgent opening movement of the Debussy, and next, the crackling scherzo of the Ravel (famous as the background
Read more music for the Ancestry.com television commercials, though not this performance as far as I can tell). In the scherzo, especially, the purity of intonation in evidence is truly astounding. You don’t have to have perfect pitch to notice just how “right” every note of the principal melody sounds. It’s marvelous.

Adding to this excellently remastered disc’s attractions, you also get equally impressive versions of Stravinsky’s main works for string quartet. This isn’t major stuff, but for that reason alone it’s nice to have since it’s not all that easy to find in a convenient place. Clearly this set makes a prime recommendation. You can do “different,” but you can’t do better.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings in G minor, Op. 10 by Claude Debussy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1893; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1984 
Venue:  Evangelical Church, Seon, Switzerland 
Length: 23 Minutes 26 Secs. 
2.
Quartet for Strings in F major by Maurice Ravel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902-1903; France 
Date of Recording: 09/1984 
Venue:  Evangelical Church, Seon, Switzerland 
Length: 28 Minutes 5 Secs. 
3.
Pieces (3) for String Quartet by Igor Stravinsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Switzerland 
Venue:  Evangelical Church, Seon, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 48 Secs. 
4.
Concertino for String Quartet by Igor Stravinsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; France 
Venue:  Evangelical Church, Seon, Switzerland 
Length: 6 Minutes 11 Secs. 
5.
Double Canon for String Quartet by Igor Stravinsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; USA 
Venue:  Evangelical Church, Seon, Switzerland 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 

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