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Old 11-21-2020, 11:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It was Hawk's idea to do the quartets - and boy, Op. 131 has been a challenge.
It really is. Adding the Bernstein was a good call. Gives us something to talk about. Imma get to it. I’m a good soldier that way.
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Op. 132 in A Minor

Moving on to No. 15, Op. 132 in A Minor. The Talich Quartet recordings are regarded as among the best. The founder, Jan Talich, passed earlier this year (his nephew, Jan Jr., currently occupies his seat).



Talich members; Petr Messiereur - violin I, Jan Kvapil - violin II, Evžen Rattay - cello, Jan Talich - viola



I think No. 15 is much more approachable in terms of immediate appreciation and the Talich is a fine recording. Here's a Spotify playlist which includes Talich versions of the late quartets and The Great or Grossee Fuge.
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Old 12-21-2020, 02:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Ok, Wonhee Bae, Yuna Ha, Yeeun Heo, Kim Ji-won, collectively known as the Esmé Quartet bring No. 15 TO LIFE. Although the group was formally started in Cologne, Germany these four Korean women were apparently childhood friends. Their synchronicity is apparent in any event. I’m afraid they make the previous Talich Quartet version seem rather staid by comparison. It’s a first rate rendition (IMO) performed and taped earlier this year -

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Old 12-21-2020, 03:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I’m going to fall way behind. I’m sorry.
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Old 12-21-2020, 10:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I’m going to fall way behind. I’m sorry.
What? Pick it up where U can. So many good versions of the quartets. I'm just noting the ones that strike me as exceptional right off the bat and giving them a few listens. Can't listen to em all!
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Old 12-22-2020, 04:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Backtracking a bit to Op. 131 (the quartet that began the thread) I found this discussion and breakdown of the piece by Bruce Adolphe which is an experience in itself. It does throw light on the quartet’s construction and subsequent influence so if, like me, you’re especially taken with 131 it will intrigue.

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Old 12-23-2020, 03:11 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I’m going to fall way behind. I’m sorry.
At least you're sort of keeping up. I wanted to, but got stuck way earlier. I WILL pick it up again
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Old 12-23-2020, 03:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting the videos, none of the Spotify links work for me in Malaysia, apparently the third world doesn't deserve culture! >: (

I'm not into classical music apart from the occasional piece and therefore have no idea how I would even begin to compare two performance of the same piece since they always seem to be so perfect (I always assume all of these musicians have started rigorous training since kindergarten and there is NO room for error or improv of any kind!).

But thanks for your thoughts and effort, it helps to bring this elusive topic to laymen such as myself. I will be following occasionally.

Edit: Actually I found a few Juliard quartets so I'll give them a go since you say they're among the best!
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Old 12-23-2020, 03:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Of course there is generally no error or improv, but these pieces of music are written down on paper, and even though they have instructions there is a lot of subtle room to decide how to play it so the musicians give their own interpretation. Like the same spoken language sounds a bit different depending on who says it because of the exact delivery
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Old 12-23-2020, 04:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
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That makes sense. But I wonder, is there a lot of room for interpretation? Can these pieces vary wildly (unless someone decided to do something experimental with them)?

I guess I should compare the various interpretations and see...
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