Thursday, December 13, 2012

Emerson String Quartet
"Bartok: 6 String Quartets" (CD)

I believe this is my third (and final) complete set of Bartok Quartets.
I'm compelled to pick these up when I find them.  I'm in agreement with those who say Bartok's six string quartets are the evolutionary bridge from the age of Romanticism and the Modern age.
I view Bartok's quartets as important to the development of the string quartet as Beethoven's evolutionary steps in the early 19th century.

Emerson's distinct recorded sound is still here: favoring a clarity over a blended, unified sound is sometimes a distraction, but with Bartok's fifth quartet this seems a more sensible choice.  Textures are painted clearly, the myriad of techniques that Bartok has the performers doing are evident rather than buried under a blanket of warmth.

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