2006-01-08 16:19:23 UTC
recordings (still unavailable on CD), which still seem just about
ideal to me. (Ditto the New Music Quartet recording of two of the
quartets.) Lately I've been poking around, trying to find more recent
recordings that I might enjoy. The Ysaye, St. Lawrence, Cherubini,
and Eroica recordings left me cold. Technically fine for the most
part, but not sufficiently mercurial and passionate to convey what I
want to hear in the music. I've heard good things about the Auryn
Quartet, but wasn't able to turn up a copy easily.
The two best recordings that I did get to hear were the by the Hagen
on DG (##2 and 3 only--#1 is coupled with the Piano Quintet on another
CD that I didn't buy), and the Lark on Arabesque (##1 and 3). The
Hagen performances are more Mendelssohnian--light and speedy,
sometimes verging on slapdash (esp. the finale of #3), but a relief
from the relative anonymity of most recordings..The Lark Quartet, a
group that was new to me, was the surprise of the bunch: big, emphatic
performances generating lots of energy and excitement. The respective
performance styles of the two quartets complement each other well, I
think: each one casts the music in a fresh light, and I'm happy to
have both of them.
But it would be awfully nice to have the Juilliard on CD . . . .