Schubert String Quartets

Author: 
Robert Layton

Schubert String Quartets

  • String Quartet No. 15
  • String Quartet No. 14, 'Death and the Maiden'

Both quartets have been reissued in LP form on World Records and EMI Treasury. The D minor (Death and the Maiden) is the best served of Schubert's quartets on CD: there are currently 19 versions listed in the Gramophone Compact Disc Catalogue! The Busch Quartet's account is now more than half-a-century old but it brings us closer to the heart of this work than any other that I have ever heard. As I said in reviewing it on LP the slow movement, in particular, has ''an unmatched and marvellous eloquence''. The same must also be said of the G major Quartet, a performance of surpassing beauty which reveals ''more of the depth and humanity of the score than any subsequent recording I have heard''. As the late Roger Fiske put it in his 1979 review, such are these performances that ''the music is quick to engross your thoughts to the exclusion of any consideration of the age of the recordings''.'

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