Quatuor Ebene - Beethoven The Complete String Quartets

Brahmsian

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Quatuor Ebene is recognised as one of the great string quartets today and their release of the Beethoven complete string quartets is very welcome by me. Even though it was recorded over 7 different locations, the sound is universally excellent to outstanding. If your system is resolving, you can hear the sound of the different halls very clearly. More importantly, their playing is absolute world class, up there with best from yesteryears. I have 5 different complete string quartet cycles and this is up there with the best two that I have heard - namely, the Alban Berg live version and Quartetto Italiano. The Alban Berg still has it by a nose but this is nitpicking now.
 
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Mike Lavigne

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i've been enjoying the Quatuor Ebene on Quboz lately not knowing how good they are, just 'liking' it. appreciate knowing i'm not alone. they have a number of excellent sounding recordings.

i did just buy some vinyl of theirs based on your post.

i also like the Alban Berg and Quatetto Italiano quartets.

 

LL21

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Quatuor Ebene is recognised as one of the great string quartets today and their release of the Beethoven complete string quartets is very welcome by me. Even though it was recorded over 7 different locations, the sound is universally excellent to outstanding. If your system is resolving, you can hear the sound of the different halls very clearly. More importantly, their playing is absolute world class, up there with best from yesteryears. I have 5 different complete string quartet cycles and this is up there with the best two that I have heard - namely, the Alban Berg live version and Quartetto Italiano. The Alban Berg still has it by a nose but this is nitpicking now.
Thanks for the recommendation...heard a few snips...in the Amazon basket!
 

rbbert

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It should be noted that while the sound quality is indeed good, noticeable dynamic compression and peak-limiting prevent it from being "excellent" or "great".
 

Brahmsian

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I don’t hear compression or peak limiting on my system but I do recognise every system is different. And so I am clear, I am not making a judgement on anyone’s system, I just don’t hear these traits on my system.
 

Mike Lavigne

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It should be noted that while the sound quality is indeed good, noticeable dynamic compression and peak-limiting prevent it from being "excellent" or "great".

fair enough.

which format are you listening to? CD, Tidal 48/24 MQA streaming, Quboz 96/24 streaming, (HD Tracks) 96/24 files, or vinyl?
 
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rbbert

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HDTracks 24/96; both the compression and the peak limiting can also be seen in an audio editor. For a couple of easily audible comparisons (at least as far as dynamic compression) both the Alban Berg Quartett and the more recent (and somewhat better recorded) Cuarteto Casals cycle are good; all have the same peak levels, but at the same volume settings the Quatuor Ebene versions blare out at you. Admittedly this is not the only measure of good sound quality, but it's hard to ignore and not very "realistic".
 
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Mike Lavigne

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thank you for the explanation.
 

astrotoy

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I grew up with many of the Quartetto Italiano recordings, beginning in the sixties and seventies. Recently when one of the tape sources let me know that he had the complete Beethoven String Quartets and the Mozart "Haydn Quartets" with the Quartetto Italiano, I couldn't resist. I added 20 new tapes covering the Beethoven Quartets, 6 more for the Mozart, joining the two tape Brahms Piano Quintet with Pollini and the QI. It is very obvious that the recordings on Philips do not do the QI justice. The tapes have a much greater dynamic range and go both much lower in the bass (the cello growls) and higher in the treble (the shimmering strings). Philips' reputation of rolling off highs and lows to make tracking easier is shown to be well deserved.

I never saw the QI in person (I did see the Budapest SQ in the mid 60's in college with 18 year old Peter Serkin playing the Brahms Quintet.) Although I was an astronomy major in college (with lots of math and physics) many of my electives were in music, including one semester focusing on Haydn and Mozart String Quartets and the next semester on Beethoven Chamber Music, including all the String Quartets. These were both upper division classes aimed at non-music majors. We even had enough string players in the classes to have two different string quartets (except for a viola, played by a faculty member), one for the easier quartets and one for the more difficult. What a great time for education.

Larry
 
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the sound of Tao

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Quator Ebene are very recommendable, especially in their Schubert, Beethoven and Ravel... but also Mendelssohn.

Here they are recorded live in the field for NPR. Would have been a nice day to go shopping.


But for the Beethoven String Quartets it is hard to go past Quartetto Italiano.
 
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rbbert

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Might be the best I've heard:

View attachment 71312

Not that hard to find.
Quatuor Végh
Valois CMB 83
One of the best sounding early digital recordings, and the performance style was considered somewhat progressive (even revolutionary) when it was released. I don’t know if any of the contemporary reviews are online now?
 

dcc

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One of the best sounding early digital recordings, and the performance style was considered somewhat progressive (even revolutionary) when it was released. I don’t know if any of the contemporary reviews are online now?
This is not a digital recording. It was recorded from 1972 to 1974.
 
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rbbert

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This is not a digital recording. It was recorded from 1972 to 1974.
Absolutely correct, my mistake. Nevertheless, it was considered a very good sounding recording on CD in the early days of CD, and a notable performance as tima noted. And my CD booklet has not stood the test of time very well...
 

KlavierKing

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I think the Ebene is one of the best modern recordings, but I will always go back to the Quartetto Italiano.
 
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BruceD

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Ah yes! Excellent sets big fan here too
--I have the Quatuor Mosaïques and Takács versions--thanks for the heads up will seek out the Ebene :)!

BruceD
 

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