Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Cleveland Quartet
"Beethoven - Op. 59 nos. 2 & 3"

We just listened to a Cleveland recording, (Schubert's "Death & the Maiden") but like many enduring quartets, there are a couple of major personnel changes on this recording that impact the quartet's identity in really profound ways.
James Dunham plays viola on this record (Martha Katz played on the Schubert) but even more noticeable is the departure of Don Weilerstein and the arrival of the Bill Pruecil.
I spent my college years watching Mr . Pruecil lead the Cleveland Orchestra as their concertmaster, so I'm biased. Perhaps.
The recording process was so different when the Pruecil-Cleveland Quartet was made than when the Weilerstein-Cleveland Quartet made its cycle.
Both times, however, the Quartet exhibits such world-class playing and sensitivity to each other you could not fairly regard one above the other. I have my favorites, but they're for purely sentimental reasons.

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