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Bartóks Streichquartette sind diffizil und alles andere als eingängig. Teilweise streifen sie ebenso schonungslos durch menschliche Abgründe wie diejenigen von Shostakovich; wenngleich das bei Bartók nicht die hervorstechende Facette ist. Ich finde diese Aufnahme spannend und genussreich und ziehe sie mir gerne immer wieder rein, immer wieder Neues entdeckend. Die Freude an diesen widerborstigen und mitunter spröden Werken rührt größtenteils von der Meisterschaft der Emersons her: Sie haben das Opus durchdrungen und können es folglich derart überzeugend durchleuchten, dass es auch für unbedarfte Hörer wie meine Wenigkeit zum Lichtblick wird. Kunst kommt von Können, und Verstand von Verstehen...
I quartetti di Bartok e gli Emerson: binomio quantomai felice! Registrazione pluripremiata e a ragione: tempi vorticosi, linee precise e sempre limpide, melodie sgranate con amore, virtuosismo magnifico. Grande alternativa ai quartetti ungheresi.
... tuttavia io Bartok proprio non riesco ad apprezzarlo ... non si può discutere ne sui suoi quartetti per archi, neppure su Emerson String Quartet .... ma non faceva per me. In futuro quando saprò apprezzarlo ... se esisterà ancora Amazon, aggiungerò qualche nota in più.
Bartók’s six quartets were written between 1909 and 1939. They are regarded as the greatest cycle of chamber works of the first half of the 20th century. They mirror different phases of the composer's career. Named after the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Emerson String Quartet was formed at the Juilliard School as a student ensemble and turned professional in 1976.
This recording won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance in 1989. The DG sound is excellent. Many brilliant quartets have recorded this music over the decades. Determining whose interpretation is the best is subjective and a matter of taste. I would recommend the Emersons and also the Takacs Quartet. The Penguin Guide says of this recording "The Emerson Quartet ...in terms of virtuosity, finesse and accuracy outstrip most of their rivals."
Eugene Drucker, Philip Seltzer, violins; Lawrence Dutton, viola; David Finckel, cello.
This two-CD collection of the six string quartets of Bela Bartok won the Grammy Awards for best classical recording and best chamber music performance in 1989, the year after its issuance. Since then the Emerson Quartet has won six more Grammys for best chamber music performance (1993, Ives; 1997, Beethoven; 2000, Shostakovich; 2005, Mendelssohn; 2006, Grieg, Sibelius and Nielsen; and 2007, Janacek and Martinu) and a second Grammy for best classical album (2000, Shostakovich). To say that this music is well played is an understatement: it’s exceptionally well played by an ensemble known for its ability to play mellow, angular and even harsh as the music dictates. It’s the mellowness that surprises on this album: it humanizes and makes more accessible Bartok’s often prickly music, a music of many changes and delightful surprises. Alas, I own only one other album by the Emerson String Quartet, its recording of the Debussy and Ravel string quartets. I have listened to that album so many times that I can sing along with parts of it. I don’t expect to sing along with Bartok, though there are portions of movements here that are eminently lyrical. I do however expect to listen to these two discs many times with pleasure.
This was recorded in 1988 around the time when digital recording first came out. It has the 2 dimensional sound of early digital recordings. The tempos are rushed in spots, which works in some cases, but in combination with the thin digital recording can be very irritating and distracting. There are much better recordings available, e.g. Takacs or the Alexander quartets.
This is a swell reading of a great work, no surprise given the players. But for me it is second-best to the 1961 Deutsche Grammophon (as remastered) reading by the Hungarian String Quartet, seemingly a little more insightful, a little richer, a little more satisfying.