96 & 192kHz/24-bit, FLAC; DSD64; Ediciones Eudora EUD-SACD-1701 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
These four young Spanish musicians decided they would like to undertake the three Brahms Piano Quartets – composed for piano, violin, viola and cello and first heard in 1861, ’62 and ’75. No 1 is by far the most popular, not least for its final ‘Rondo alla Zingarese’, and it was later orchestrated by Schoenberg (and twice recorded by Rattle). The 1949 set by Serkin and the Busch players is still current and these new recordings face huge competition. The stage width in this Zaragoza studio production is rather narrow and the 1862 Vuillaume violin sounds less generous in tone than I would have liked. Musically, the artists certainly play as one, with Bagaría’s Steinway inevitably dominating – his duet with cellist Apellániz in the Andante of No 3 is especially fine. CB
Sound Quality: 75%
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Also available as a DSD64 download (and SACD disc), this 192kHz LPCM FLAC is actually a downsample of the original DSD256 source file (a Merging Technologies/Pyramix solution). Plenty of bandwidth for this quartet! PM
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