Thursday, April 27, 2017

Franz Schubert - Piano Quintet; String Quartet No. 14 (Emil Gilels; Amadeus Quartet)


Information

Composer: Franz Schubert
  1. Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass in A major, D. 667 - "The Trout": 1. Allegro vivace
  2. Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass in A major, D. 667 - "The Trout": 2. Andante
  3. Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass in A major, D. 667 - "The Trout": 3. Scherzo (Presto)
  4. Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass in A major, D. 667 - "The Trout": 4. Thema - Andantino - Variazioni I-V - Allegretto
  5. Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass in A major, D. 667 - "The Trout": 5. Finale (Allegro giusto)
  6. String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D. 810 - "Death and the Maiden": 1. Allegro
  7. String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D. 810 - "Death and the Maiden": 2. Andante con moto
  8. String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D. 810 - "Death and the Maiden": 3. Scherzo (Allegro molto)
  9. String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D. 810 - "Death and the Maiden": 4. Presto

Emil Gilels, piano
Amadeus Quartet
Norbert Brainin, first violin
Siegmund Nissel, second violin
Peter Schidlof, viola
Martin Lovett, cello
&
Rainer Zepperitz, double bass

Date: 1959 (6-9), 1975 (1-5)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4497462


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Review

An early stereo recording that, in terms of instrumental placing, has an almost monaural sound image, features the Amadeus's Quartet in a highly dramatic 1959 account of Schubert's Death and the Maiden Quartet. DG's latest transfer is excellent and comes coupled with a stylish Trout Quintet where members of the Amadeus are joined by Emil Gilels and double-bassist Rainer Zepperitz.

-- Robert Cowan, Gramophone [4/1997]

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In the 1975 DG recording of the Trout there is a masterly contribution from Gilels, and the Amadeus play with considerable freshness. The approach is very positive, not as sunny and spring-like as in some versions, but rewarding in its seriousness of purpose... The unanimity of ensemble [in Death and the Maiden] is remarkable. The quartet play as one in dealing with the finer points of phrasing, for example at the very beginning of the variations.

-- Penguin Guide

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Emil Gilels joined members of the Amadeus Quartet in Turku, Finland, in 1975 to record Schubert’s Trout Quintet for DG. The famous Curzon/Vienna Octet performance (Decca) has slightly more warmth and idiomatic flexibility, but Gilels brings impressive grandeur to the piano part, and Rainer Zepperitz’s double bass resounds splendidly. The Amadeus Quartet taped Death and the Maiden in Hanover in 1959; long a benchmark account, its reading now has added fire and presence in this digitised transfer, but occasional shrillness disappoints in higher registers.

-- Michael Jameson, BBC Music Magazine

More reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Quintet-Maiden-Amadeus-Quartet/dp/B000001GXF

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Franz Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer who was extremely prolific during his short lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical era and early Romantic era and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century. His music is characterized by pleasing tunes while still has "a great wealth of technical finesse".

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Emil Gilels (October 19, 1916 – October 14, 1985) was a Soviet pianist, widely regarded one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. He is universally admired for his superb technical control and burnished tone. Gilels had an extensive repertoire, range from from baroque to late Romantic and 20th century. His interpretations of the central German-Austrian classics formed the core of his repertoire. He also performed and recorded chamber music with Leonid Kogan, Mstislav Rostropovich and duet with his daughter, Elena.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Gilels

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The Amadeus Quartet was a world-famous string quartet founded in 1947 and disbanded in 1987 upon the death of the violist Peter Schidlof, remarkable for having retained its founding members throughout its long history. Noted for its smooth, sophisticated style, its seamless ensemble playing, and its sensitive interpretation, the quartet made some 200 recordings. Its members included: Norbert Brainin (1st violin), Siegmund Nissel (2nd violin), Peter Schidlof (viola) & Martin Lovett (cello).

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