Friday, December 8, 2017

Beethoven: Quartet No. 15 (Erling Bloch Quartet)

This year I have certainly managed to acquire a healthy batch of recordings by the Erling Bloch Quartet, and here is the latest installment, apparently the Danish ensemble's only recording of Beethoven:

Beethoven: Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132
The Erling Bloch Quartet (Bloch-Friisholm-Kassow-Christiansen)
Recorded April 12 and 13, 1951
HMV DB 20143 through DB 20147, five 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 117.62 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 70.74 MB)

It's a good, honest performance, a little broader in tempo than was customary for 78-rpm recordings of this work, particularly in the finale. It may not have the searing intensity of the 1937 version by the Busch Quartet (which, incidentally, was slated for deletion in the HMV 1950-51 catalogue), but then, which other version did? I hate making comparisons like this, but in the case of this particular piece I can't help it, because of all the Beethoven quartets Op. 132 is the one I love most, and the Busch performance is my ideal...