Author Topic: Beethoven's String Quartets  (Read 208929 times)

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Offline JBS

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1000 on: March 10, 2020, 07:15:46 AM »
I have four or five of their Haydn CDs.  Their Op 76 bored me, their Op 74 impressed me,  the rest was okay, but nothing special. So a mixed bag, I think.

Based on that, I haven't tried their Beethoven.

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Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1001 on: March 10, 2020, 11:04:03 AM »
Their Op. 127 is a favorite of mine. I think they lack the lightness and wit some groups bring to classical era repertoire, but that same personality suits them well in middle and late Beethoven.

Offline JBS

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1002 on: March 10, 2020, 08:56:55 PM »
Well, I just ordered the Naxos Complete Beethoven box from Amazon MP. The SQs in that set are by the Kodalys.

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Offline Daverz

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1003 on: March 10, 2020, 09:18:03 PM »
I do think the Kodaly Quartet got short shrift from critics because of the budget label origins.  On the other hand, I have at least 15 complete sets of the quartets (not including duplicate pressings), so I'm not in a hurry to collect this one.  :-\

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1004 on: March 10, 2020, 09:27:02 PM »
I do think the Kodaly Quartet got short shrift from critics because of the budget label origins.  On the other hand, I have at least 15 complete sets of the quartets (not including duplicate pressings), so I'm not in a hurry to collect this one.  :-\

Did they get short shrift from critics? I may be wrong about this but I have a vague memory of their Haydn being well received.



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Offline Daverz

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1005 on: March 10, 2020, 10:16:20 PM »
Did they get short shrift from critics? I may be wrong about this but I have a vague memory of their Haydn being well received.

Short shrift in that they would not expend the number of paragraphs they would on a full-price issue.  I'm assuming that's an editorial decision.  I perused some of the Fanfare reviews.  They are usually mostly positive but often feature the phrase "...but the Tatrai Quartet..." and seem a bit condescending as well. 

Online Jo498

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1006 on: March 11, 2020, 01:55:59 AM »
The Penguine guide (and/or gramophone) loved the Kodaly's Haydn in the 1990s and showered it with stars and rosettes. While I found them serviceable, I think this high praise was partly due to lack of competition and low price tag. I have not heard anything of their Beethoven as the competition was overwhelming and I am not in the market for more Beethoven SQ recordings unless they are utterly special or spectacular
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Que

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1007 on: March 11, 2020, 04:05:17 AM »
The Penguine guide (and/or gramophone) loved the Kodaly's Haydn in the 1990s and showered it with stars and rosettes. While I found them serviceable, I think this high praise was partly due to lack of competition and low price tag.

Exactly my experience (in Haydn) as well.
Solid performances, but nothing special or exciting.

Q
« Last Edit: March 11, 2020, 06:32:03 AM by Que »

Online Jo498

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1008 on: March 11, 2020, 05:52:09 AM »
I kept two Haydn Kodaly Q. disc, namely the op.3 + fillers from op.2 that were scratched from the official string quartets. And I have Bartok's early piano quintet with them + Jando. There is a Schubert enthusiast in another forum who loves some of their early Schubert quartets and I pretty sure they are hardly ever less than competent. But for lot of Haydn and even more for Beethoven I am spoiled with many great choices. (Overall I think the Eder quartet who also recorded for Naxos (IIRC Mozart and DSCH) is preferable to the Kodaly)
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline hvbias

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1009 on: March 11, 2020, 05:57:45 AM »
The Penguine guide (and/or gramophone) loved the Kodaly's Haydn in the 1990s and showered it with stars and rosettes. While I found them serviceable, I think this high praise was partly due to lack of competition and low price tag. I have not heard anything of their Beethoven as the competition was overwhelming and I am not in the market for more Beethoven SQ recordings unless they are utterly special or spectacular

In Haydn for complete cycles as a whole Festetics and Mosaiques make it hard for me to go back to older styles outside of a handful of individual pieces I like from Kodaly (ie Seven Last Words For Christ).
« Last Edit: March 11, 2020, 05:59:23 AM by hvbias »

Offline Brian

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1010 on: March 11, 2020, 05:58:52 AM »
(Overall I think the Eder quartet who also recorded for Naxos (IIRC Mozart and DSCH) is preferable to the Kodaly)
Cellist Gyorgy Eder left the Eder Quartet to join the Kodaly Quartet, as it happens.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1011 on: March 11, 2020, 07:21:21 AM »
I just listened to most of Kodaly Qut. Op 131, I should say I skipped the fugue.


lively ensemble playing;


Yes, that’s what I heard. It may be a bit scrappy - I can’t judge but my feeling is that a real musician who plays these quartets would say that their ensemble is not totally together. But it is lively for sure and they transmit a sense of joy in making the music.

It’s a bit too lively maybe. That’s to say, they play up that element at the expense  of eg - introspectiveness. The result is a bit one dimensional - as if this music is only expressing one thing (liveliness). So lacking in expressive variety and relief. The overall feeling is a long and slightly brutal ride in a fast machine.

clear, but warm digital sound.


I thought the sound was balanced  too much to the violin end  at the expense of lower voices, and the violin sound ain’t that great, the result is a bit of a dentist’s drill. The sound is not very subtle.

Right that’s me done with Beethoven for the rest of the year, basta, no more.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2020, 10:17:52 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1012 on: March 11, 2020, 09:54:25 AM »

Right that’s me done with Beethoven for the rest of the year, basta, no more.

I'm holding you to that.  :laugh:

Thanks for your thoughts. The op.131 is one of the Kodály Quartet recordings I've been listening to a lot of. I don't know, maybe these records are not as good as I think they are. But I'm more than happy to have gotten some enjoyment out of them while exploring these famous works. I have the Belcea Quartet set on Alpha sitting on my bookshelf unopened. I plan on working my way through this maybe in April or May. For now I'm digging the Kodálys, the Colorado SQ, and the Budapest SQ (stereo). It's not like I listen to Beethoven SQs all that much anyway.

Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1013 on: September 10, 2021, 12:27:35 AM »
On page 1 of this thread, Todd recommended the stereo Vegh. A couple of years ago this reappeared after being oop for a long time and I bit the bullet. I haven't regretted it. Finally, Beethoven is speaking to me through his string quartets. I still can't understand everything he is saying but the Vegh's are certainly helping with their translation of this music. Writing this I am listening to Op 131. The sheer variety of music in all these short movements is just awesome.
Cheers

Holden

Offline Todd

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1014 on: September 10, 2021, 01:53:49 PM »
On page 1 of this thread, Todd recommended the stereo Vegh.


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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1015 on: September 10, 2021, 02:47:43 PM »
On page 1 of this thread, Todd recommended the stereo Vegh. A couple of years ago this reappeared after being oop for a long time and I bit the bullet. I haven't regretted it. Finally, Beethoven is speaking to me through his string quartets. I still can't understand everything he is saying but the Vegh's are certainly helping with their translation of this music. Writing this I am listening to Op 131. The sheer variety of music in all these short movements is just awesome.

Vegh's stereo set was also the recording which "opened" LvB's string quartets for me. Before this I had listened to several others with no success.
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Offline T. D.

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1016 on: September 10, 2021, 04:59:20 PM »
Long ago, the Vegh/Valois stereo was my first LvB SQ purchase, due to a recommendation in the Penguin Guide! Shortly thereafter I stopped using the P G due to a few misfires (e. g. Haydn by "the Lindsays"), but there were some success stories...
« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 08:33:31 AM by T. D. »

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1017 on: September 11, 2021, 03:22:26 AM »
The Vegh is one of my favorite sets.  But the first one to open up the SQs for me was the 60s Juilliard.  I don't listen to that one anymore but I still listen to the stereo Vegh.

Offline amw

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1018 on: September 11, 2021, 08:50:40 AM »
For me I guess it was Joseph Kerman's book on the Beethoven Quartets. Admittedly Kerman is pretty harsh on everything until the last five. And then at university I took a course specifically on the Beethoven quartets, which I still remember fondly.

(I borrowed from a music teacher the Budapest Quartet 1951-2 recordings on LP, which were my overall introduction to the music, and then at university pirated the Endellion Quartet super-complete set, which had just been released in time for the university's 800th anniversary. But the first complete sets I obtained in my era of actually buying music were the Végh stereo and the Belcea CD.)

Online Jo498

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Re: Beethoven's String Quartets
« Reply #1019 on: September 11, 2021, 09:24:00 AM »
For me I guess it was Joseph Kerman's book on the Beethoven Quartets. Admittedly Kerman is pretty harsh on everything until the last five.
op.74 and 95 get a passing grade from Kerman. ;) One must really be spoilt if the first 9-11 Beethoven quartets are not good enough...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)