(2005) Mozart - String Quartets K 387 & K 421

Smithson String Quartet

... read moreIt's not like the world was experiencing a paucity of recordings of Mozart's Haydn Quartets when these recordings were made in 1989. There had been dozens of recordings made over the previous 60 or so years -- but there was a shortage of recordings of the works on period instruments -- the Salomon...

01:06′:20″ 8 Songs

1
Smithson String Quartet
String Quartet No. 14 In G Major K387: I. Allegro Vivace Assai
11:42
2
Smithson String Quartet
String Quartet No. 14 In G Major K387: Ii. Menuetto
8:10
3
Smithson String Quartet
String Quartet No. 14 In G Major K387: Iii. Andante Cantabile
7:45
4
Smithson String Quartet
String Quartet No. 14 In G Major K387: Iv. Molto Allegro
7:55
5
Smithson String Quartet
String Quartet No. 15 In D Minor K421/417B: I. Allegro Moderato
10:45
6
Smithson String Quartet
String Quartet No. 15 In D Minor K421/417B: Ii. Andante
6:36
7
Smithson String Quartet
String Quartet No. 15 In D Minor K421/417B: Iii. Menuetto
3:56
8
Smithson String Quartet
String Quartet No. 15 In D Minor K421/417B: Iv. Allegretto Ma Non Troppo
9:31
Released 25 November 2005, 1994 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics

Review

It's not like the world was experiencing a paucity of recordings of Mozart's Haydn Quartets when these recordings were made in 1989. There had been dozens of recordings made over the previous 60 or so years -- but there was a shortage of recordings of the works on period instruments -- the Salomon Quartet's recordings were two years in the future and the Quatuor Mosaïque's recordings were ten years in the future. But even against the best of the earlier modern and later period instrument performances, these performance by the Smithsonian Quartet are still among the best ever recorded. Led by Jaap Schroder, the Smithsonian's ensemble is relaxed but tight, its intonation lean but warm, its tempos comfortable but cogent. Best of all, the Smithsonian's interpretations are an ideal blend of intellectual rigor without succumbing to rigor mortis and heartfelt emotion without succumbing to heart-stopping sentimentality. In the Smithsonian's performances, Mozart's G major and D minor quartets sound as deep and moving and elegant as the best recordings ever made and well-worth hearing by anyone who loves Mozart or great chamber music. Virgin's early digital sound could be a bit richer and more evocative.