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Beethoven: String Trios; Piano Trios; Quintet; Sextets; Octet / Vera Beths, violin. Anner Bylsma, cello. Charles Neidich, clarinet. Jürgen Kussmaul, violin. Lucy van Dael, violin. Lidewij Scheifes, cello. [5 CDs]

Conductor Ensemble

Notes & Reviews:

As the predecessors of Sony Classical, CBS Masterworks had not a catalogue of "authenticity-minded" recordings (the pioneering efforts of Raymond Leppard and Jean-Claude Malgoire notwithstanding), Sony made a distinctive new start and engaged indubitably one of the most experienced producers in the field of early music, Wolf Erichson. If the successes secured by such musicians as Gustav Leonhardt, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Frans Brüggen in the 1960s were the most visible signs to a wider audience of thorough-going change in the interpretation of music from medieval to baroque times, there was no doubt in assigning a part of the general success to the work of the production teams behind the recordings. Wolf Erichson was involved in producing recordings for many artists through his work for Das Alte Werk series. Success followed him since the early 1970s, when he founded the SEON production company. Later, Sony Classical's SEON line brought the pioneers of period intruments and vocal performances such as Frans Brüggen, Amer Bylsma, the Kuijkens, Gustav Leonhardt, and Konrad Ruhland on the international market at a budget price. Recordings made on SEON enjoyed both popular and critical acclaim. Later, producer Wolf Erichson, supervised Sony's VIVARTE label, which was a label devoted solely to producing historical music using modern recording technologies. Music critic Tom Manoff said these digital recordings of the VIVARTE series are among the best he has ever heard. The upcoming VIVARTE collector's boxed sets feature attractive repertoire selection out of the legendary catalogue of ancient music. The CDs appear in their original coupling and cover at a special price. Some VIVARTE sets also include selected recordings from the SEON catalogue to round up the collections of selected titles.


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