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Bartok String Quartet recordings

Edited: August 13, 2022, 4:55 AM · I've been reducing my CD collection by getting rid of duplicates and unnecessary things (Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary recorded in Winchester cathedral, yuck!). I've got two recordings of the Bartok String Quartets:- Berg and Guarneri. I had Guarneri on vinyl in the 70s. It was amusing to be reminded of the tape glitch again - an engineer must have nudged the tape with his coffee or his ashtray! Berg has too much reverb. I definitely prefer Guarneri for their intimacy and comparative dryness, but if only there weren't that tape glitch; and the stereo separation is sometimes bizarre. Also disc 1 has a very unwise track break between 5 and 6. Is there better? This feels like a FAQ, but I can't find it in the archives.

Incidentally, if anyone knows the history of the guarneri recording, I'd be interested to know it.

Replies (4)

Edited: August 13, 2022, 5:20 AM · The old Fine Arts Quartet is my favorite, followed by the Hungarian Quartet.
There is real anger, mystery, and sorrow in these works
August 13, 2022, 8:24 AM · I haven't heard all of the recordings, but have heard them live in Jordan Hall: Takacs. And Decca usually does well on the recording front.

Back in my student days, the go-to was Juilliard for character (and there were choices of mono, stereo, and digital to get people frothed up), and then Tokyo if you insisted on the ultimate refinement.

August 14, 2022, 1:35 AM · My favourite recording is by the Hungarian Keller Quartet from the early 90's.
August 15, 2022, 12:24 PM · One of my best vinyl LP sets is the Vegh Quartet playing these quartets.Its on Telefunken from 1972.Very energetic and folksy.

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