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Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, July 2012

Readers of my reviews will know by now that although I may highly praise the performances on a DVD of chamber music, I only rarely recommend the video side of it. This one is different. Aside from the ubiquitous goofy close-ups, this is a fascinating group to watch, as they are passionate about their playing. To watch these musicians really dig in to the music, and give so much of themselves through it, is fascinating to watch—and that is not a claim I can make about many string quartets on a video. Also interesting are the occasional close-ups of the sheet music, so old that the cellophane tape on it is yellowed!

There’s just something about the Amadeus Quartet’s tone, so very Viennese if you will, that makes them for me one of the most beautiful of all the famous postwar quartets. Others may have been more brilliant in both tone and execution, but the sweet, singing tone of the Amadeus players’ instruments remains unique in my experience. Of course, the 1962 BBC studio performance of the Mozart K 428 quartet is in both mono sound and black-and white video, but who cares? It’s still wonderful to watch their total involvement, and oh, that tone … I could listen to them forever! © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare

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