88.2kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Pentatone PTC5186673 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
This Cologne-based group was founded in 1994 and has won various awards for live performances and innovative recording projects. Here, they play the String Quartets in B-flat, D112, and the A-minor, D804 – the ‘Rosamunde’ (where Schubert re-uses material written for the play Rosamunde, Princess Of Cyprus). The Lied aus der Ferne gives the album title, for which viola player Xandi van Dijk has made an arrangement for string quartet along with five others: track 2 is the Rosamunde ‘Hirtenmelodien’ while the song ‘Die Götter Griechenlands’ is also quoted in D804. The two main Quartets, says van Dijk, ‘convey a longing from afar’, while with his transcriptions the listener should feel that ‘they could have been written for nothing but quartet’. And they do indeed. Recorded in a Wuppertal church last April, a very satisfying Pentatone release – the Quartet’s label debut. CB
Sound Quality: 90%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
Captured last year at the Wuppertal Immanuelskirche at a DSD-friendly 88.2kHz, this Pentatone offering makes good use of bandwidth and dynamics but shows some spuriae at ~28kHz [black trace] on all tracks save No 6 ‘Presto’. PM
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