This 1975 recording of Schubert's C major String Quintet finds the Guarneri Quartet and cellist Leonard Rose in fine form. Admittedly, first violinist Arnold Steinhardt's tone is occasionally edgy, a feature exacerbated by microphone placement, and there are several patches of questionable intonation, but tonal blend and balance are otherwise exemplary. The opening movement comes off best (performed without the exposition repeat), with propulsive, dramatic playing and a sensitive shaping of the oh-so-lovely, lyrical second theme. The Adagio's fragile atmosphere is nicely sustained, though the opening could be more hushed. Rough-hewn and unhurried, the Guarneri underscores the rustic, dance-like qualities of the last two movements, and whileRead more the scherzo is too heavy-handed, the finale has an endearing, Gypsy-like rhythmic snap.
The Alban Berg Quartet and Heinrich Schiff (EMI) offer a sweeter, more polished view of this hallowed repertoire staple. And then there's the Hollywood String Quartet and Kurt Reher (Testament), who are far plainer-sounding yet phrase in glorious, long paragraphs. I wouldn't give up either of these deservedly acclaimed accounts, but RCA was right to finally put the Guarneri's compelling version on CD. The coupling is a 1970 recording of the Beethovenian Quartettsatz that begins perfunctorily but quickly gathers expressive weight.
--Andrew Farach-Colton, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Would loved to have reviewed this however!!!!March 30, 2012By Patricia W. (Greenville, WI)See All My Reviews"This is not a review but to tell you how much I was looking forward to listening to this recording. I had heard a recording of the first movement on a music history anthology recording and was looking forward to hearing the rest of this performance, especially the second movement, however; I absentmindedly discarded the package and packing slip when I received it without having listened to the recording first. The CD was faulty and only a small portion of the first movement was recorded on the CD and nothing else. WHAT a DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!!!! I hesitate to order anymore ARKIV recordings of historically significant performances. I really wanted to order the orchestra of the enlightenment's performance of the Schumann Symphonies - but now, I don't know."Report Abuse
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