Schubert: String Quintet in C, D956; Symphony No. 5 in B flat, D485

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COMPOSERS: Schubert
LABELS: Sony
WORKS: String Quintet in C, D956; Symphony No. 5 in B flat, D485
PERFORMER: Isaac Stern, Alexander Schneider (violin), Milton Katims (viola), Pablo Casals, Paul Tortelier (cello)Prades Festival Orchestra/Pablo Casals
CATALOGUE NO: SMK 58992 ADD (1952/53)
This historic account of the String Quintet, recorded during the 1952 Prades festival, documents a unique and, sadly, unrepeatable occasion. The enduring impression here is of five great artists met together to make obeisance (the playing really does verge on the reverential!) before one of the sublime masterworks of Western art music. The intimacy and serene concentration projected across the years is deeply moving, despite the very primitive recording. Casals also shepherds the ad hoc Prades Festival Orchestra through the Schubert Fifth Symphony; an unremarkable performance, dogged by thin, poorly-detailed sound. Michael Jameson

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