Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Iconic performances of great chamber music

January 19, 2012:

These recordings of the late Dvorak quartets were made in New York by Sony in the early 1970s. Newton Classics has put together another double-disc set of very attractive repertoire, as is their wont, though the price is not as attractive as some double-disc re-issues.

This is amazing music, played as well as you could wish, and it's very well recorded, with warmth and a nice sense of space. It's not perhaps as carefully presented as the music and performances deserve, as another reviewer here has noted. But in this day of such an embarrassment of classical music riches, it's good that Newton is pushing forward these iconic performances of some of the greatest chamber music of the 19th century. And it's nice to hear the Terzetto (a quartet minus the cello). What an odd little piece, but certainly a charmer! It's an illustration of Dvorak's cleverness, and how much he loved and understood the viola.

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