COMPOSERS: Berg,Brahms,Dvorak,Haydn,Mozart,Schubert,Webern and Urbanner
WORKS: String Quartets by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorák, Berg, Webern and Urbanner
PERFORMER: Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorák, Berg, Webern and Urbanner
CATALOGUE NO: 9031-76998-2 ADD (1974-9)
These recordings, made early in the career of the Alban Berg Quartet, show no sign of the surface gloss it is sometimes accused of substituting for depth.
Indeed, they represent these players at their very considerable best. Intonation and ensemble are as perfect as one could hope for, but the performances are also remarkable for their insight and emotional commitment. The Mozart quartets – all ten major works – are among the best ever recorded, and Haydn’s Emperor (Op. 76/3) is equally fine, the famous variations beautifully done.
The warmth brought to the three Brahms quartets is reflected in Berg’s Op. 3 and Lyric Suite, and the concentrated expression of Webern’s Opp. 5, 9 and 28 is realised with superb precision. Impressive accounts of Schubert’s D804 and D173, Dvorák’s Op. 106 and a short quartet by Urbanner complete the set. The sound is excellent (a little fierce in the Webern), and at around £7.50 a disc this is unbeatable value for money. David Michaels