This music was new to me. I'm clearly not a musicologist but this is music that I find to be very well constructed but still not hard to listen to. It makes me want to expand my narrow views and find other pieces that have so far eluded me.
An amazing recording of an amazingly beautiful score. Does not come any better.
I own both the Richter/Borodin and Haefliger/Takacs recordings of the Dvorak Quintet Op. 81, and I definitely prefer the latter. Richter/Borodin was my first exposure, and I liked it, but it wasn't until I heard Haefliger/Takacs that I even noticed, for example, just how beautiful the trio of the third movement is. The tempi they choose just suit the entire quintet much more to my liking, and my opinion of it (and them) rose upon hearing this performance.
Another factor--though only a small one--is the recording quality. Richter/Borodin was recorded live and thus suffers from occasional distracting audience noise, while Haefliger/Takacs was recorded in studio. Also, Arkiv indicates the Richter/Borodin recording was made in 1982, but to my ears it sounds much older (i.e. the sound is muffled and the different parts are difficult to distinguish). The Haefliger/Takacs sonics, on the other hand, are gorgeous.
The Quartet Op. 51 is also played wonderfully here by the...
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