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  Praga Digitals -
  PRD/DSD 350 049
  Parkanyi Quartet: The art of the string quartet (Vol. II)
  Beethoven: String Quartet in C minor Op. 18 No. 4, String Quartet in F minor Op. 95 "Quartetto Serioso", Schubert: String Quartet in B flat D.112

Parkanyi Quartet
Track listing:
  Classical - Chamber
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 2

Review by Arthur August 13, 2010 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I quickly filled up 5 paragraphs and I wasn't even finished talking about Op. 18 No. 4. So let me start over: this is a winner! I bought it for the Op. 95, which is good, but the Op. 18 No. 4 is even more spectacular! Listen to the body of the strings in the fugato opening of the Andante. Most ensembles sound choked as they try not to overdo their sound. The Parkanyis manage to sound rich, without ever losing sight of the fact that they are playing pianissimo! In the Minuet, listen to the absolute unanimity of the players as they play their repeated 3rd beat sforzandos. In the Finale listen to the incredible way they play their 5 unison chords that end each phrase; and hear the stylish grace with which the cellist adds his two-notes worth when they repeat it later in the movement. The thing that stood out most of all about this performance is the power of their approach and the beauty with which it is executed! This reminded me so much of what Karajan was trying to achieve late in his career; yet his music-making was often marred by ugly fortes; the Parkanyi has no such problems.

The Schubert is the early one in B-flat, D. 112. This work had never really made an impression on me before, but the Parkanyis make me think it should be parked next to the final four masterpieces. The andante second movement has a pathos that presages those final years. And the Finale had me thinking about Mendelssohn!

The sleeve note says "multi-channel", but I could detect no center channel nor any rears. None-the-less the stereo sound was marvelous! (This and the Ashkenazy Prokofiev Symphonies have been two of my most spectacular recent listens and they're both stereo!) Over and over I caught myself marveling at details that other players miss, or if they don't, they're masked by the recording. The contribution of the cello especially caught my ears!

Urgent recommendation!

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Review by JJ January 24, 2009 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
With this second volume devoted to the art of the string quartet, the Parkanyi Quartet invites us to listen to Beethoven and his Quartets N°4 in C minor Op.18 n°4 and N°11 in F minor Op.95, as well as Schubert and his Quartet N°8 in B flat major D.112 Op,168. Formerly known as the Orlando, the Parkanyi Quartet, made up of Istvan Parkanyi (violin), Heinz Oberdorfer (violin), Ferdinand Erblich (alto) and Michael Müller (cello), today represents a « Hungarian tradition of classical interpretation of Haydn and Schubert, following in the footsteps of the Budapest Quartet with Emil Hauser then Joseph Roisman, the Hungarian Quartet with Zoltan Szekely, and finally the Vegh Quartet”, notes musicologist Pierre-Emile Barbier. Everything here is a lesson of the highest order. The articulation, the expressive involvement, the ardor of certain phrases. One is stunned by their mastery, in which Schubert perhaps more than Beethoven reacquires a human dimension rarely heard. Recorded in 1999 and 2001, and sold for the modest sum of a few euros, these stereo and multicanal SACDs are an irresistible pleasure.

Jean-Jacques Millo
Translation Lawrence Schulman

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Works: 3  

Ludwig van Beethoven - String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso"
Ludwig van Beethoven - String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18 No. 4
Franz Schubert - String Quartet No. 8 in B flat, D. 112