Magazine article Gramophone

The Amadeus Quartet

Magazine article Gramophone

The Amadeus Quartet

Article excerpt

The third instalment of Audite's Amadeus Quartet recordings, all of them taken from Berlin RIAS broadcasts and dating from the period 1951-57, covers works already available in the Quartet's capable hands, principally in later (stereo) recordings available from DG. Comparisons reveal an impressive level of interpretative consistency, more spontaneous early on perhaps, and with most principal first-movement repeats omitted.

Most of the differences concern the sound quality, which on these RIAS tapes is appealingly intimate. Take Quartet No 18, K464, the opening Allegro, where, as presented here, dynamic contrasts tell with expressive impact but on DG, where the balance suggests listening from the rear of a medium-size concert hall, the effect is less immediate. In this instance the stereo 'pay-off is minimal compared to the advantage of having the players sound as if they're in the room with you.

And with playing as musically sympathetic and stylistically 'on the button' as we're offered here, who can complain? …

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