1 800 222 6872

Brahms: String Quartets no 1 and 3 / Takács String Quartet

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Quartet for Strings no 3 in B flat major, Op. 67
>Brahms, Johannes : Quartet for Strings no 1 in C minor, Op. 51/1

Notes & Reviews:

"Where some performances grind through it like an academic exercise, the Takács Quartet makes the music dance, and that, in essence, is the secret of their success... Another factor that keeps the ear perked up is the group's juicy, resinous timbre--very different from the smoother sound typical, say, of many of the best Czech ensembles, but somehow just right for music that can easily turn bland... Perfect engineering rounds out a release that presents this elusive music in the best possible light." -Classics Today (10/10)

'The Takács chart the music's undulating emotions with a compelling assuredness ... playing of radiant warmth and phrasal sensitivity. Andrew Keener and Simon Eadon work wonders in capturing a warm yet articulate ambience for these physically imposing and richly detailed scores. Strongly recommended' (International Record Review)

'Their approach is alert, texturally clear and passionate ... These are admirable performances which I recommend to any prospective buyer ... this new Takács reading weighs in at the top end of the many available versions' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The Takacs Quartet extracts every ounce out of a score that pulsates with energy and convey its progression with unerring fluency. Opus 67 carries an ineffable charm. A thoroughly rewarding album' (Northern Echo)

' ... just the team to make these scores work better than you might have thought possible. The austere Quartet in A Minor benefits from the Takacs' warm tone and courtly romanticism. The late B-flat quartet can feel lightweight, even inconsequential, in other hands. Not in this reading, at once expansive and refined... They're best in show' (Dallas Morning News, USA)

'This exceptional recording ... The earlier work, profound and deliberate, is the ideal companion to the later, more graceful piece' (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Viola to the fore in the third movement, Agitato, of No 3; and Geraldine Walther, firm-toned and assertive, rises to the occasion as the only un-muted instrumentalist here. Agitation isn't consistently maintained though because the Takács Quartet tend to ease the tension in places. Yet there is no slack in the other movements.

This close-knit group unanimously stretch or tighten the rhythm, achieving evenly matched dynamics such as the sotto voce sequences in the opening Vivace, the hushed dolce e grazioso in the recapitulation of the Andante and the stilled peace of the G flat sixth variation in the finale. Walther is well in the picture in this movement too whereas elsewhere she appears occasionally to lose focus.

Not so in No 1. Her place on the right of the ensemble is firmly assured here. The work is 'commonly held to be representative of Brahms's austerity and asceticism' (Edwin Evans), and these epithets are apposite for the Takács, spare of style and tone. The players' control over the first movement doesn't preclude a range of rubato that serves to sharpen the musical argument. Nor does it preclude a linear drive that knits the six themes of the last movement into a coherent whole, while they do not let up on the melancholy of the middle movements, the third particularly dark. The recording is tonally credible but is widely separated.


There are currently no reviews, be the first one!
Login or Create an Account to write a review

Also Purchased

Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Quartet for Strings no 3 in B flat major, Op. 67
  • Notes: St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, England (05/23/2008-05/26/2008)
  • Running Time: 32 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1876

>Brahms, Johannes : Quartet for Strings no 1 in C minor, Op. 51/1
  • Notes: St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, England (05/23/2008-05/26/2008)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1866-1873