Schubert: String Quartet No. 14, "Death and the Maiden" - Janacek: String Quartet No. 2, "Intimate Letters"

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Album Name Length Format Sample Rate Price
Schubert: String Quartet No. 14, "Death and the Maiden" - Janacek: String Quartet No. 2, "Intimate Letters" 1:02:43 $17.98
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# Track Title Length Format Sample Rate Price
1 I. Allegro 11:54 96/24 Album only
2 II. Andante con moto 10:35 96/24 Album only
3 III. Scherzo: (Allegro molto) 3:46 $2.49 Buy
4 IV. Presto 8:51 96/24 Album only
5 I. Andante 6:39 $2.49 Buy
6 II. Adagio 6:23 96/24 Album only
7 III. Moderato 6:08 96/24 Album only
8 IV. Allegro 8:27 96/24 Album only

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Willi Zimmermann & Katarzyna Nawrotek ~ Violin
Nicolas Corti ~ Viola
Claudius Herrmann ~ Cello

A concert recording from the layical refectory in Maulbronn, July 4th, 1999.

This UNESCO-sponsored concert at the Maulbronn Monastery, a World Heritage Site, features the always-fiery Amati Quartet, and here I am surprised that they didn't set fire to the place. While neither of these pieces can be considered definitive recordings, or even primary recordings, they are two of the most smoking readings I have ever heard in this music. It took me completely unawares when the dramatic opening bars of "Death and the Maiden" gripped me by the throat and threatened immediate life-extinction; I felt as if I were living the story myself, and though no maiden, I could certainly relate to her death-obsessed plight. This version is almost orchestral in feeling. While it is true that there is a huge amount of reverb in this space - well, it is a monastery - this only partially accounts for the destructive vehemence that the Amati gives this work. They see and saw their way as if it were the world's last concert, or the devil himself was in the audience. I enjoyed it tremendously, though as I said, I could not be satisfied with such propulsive antics on a regular basis. For that I will continue to turn to the Juilliard Quartet on Sony and the Alban Berg on EMI. But, just as in the movies, we all like to get scared as hell once in a while, and this one did it for me.