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Franz Schubert

String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor 'Death and the Maiden', D. 810

The Budapest String Quartet


From Wikipedia

"The String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, known as Death and the Maiden, by Franz Schubert, is one of the pillars of the chamber music repertoire. Composed in 1824, after the composer suffered through a serious illness and realized that he was dying, it is Schubert's testament to death. The quartet is named for the theme of the second movement, which Schubert took from a song he wrote in 1817 of the same title; but the theme of death is palpable in all four movements of the quartet.

The quartet was first played in 1826 in a private home, and was not published until 1831, three years after Schubert's death. Yet, passed over in his lifetime, the quartet has become a staple of the quartet repertoire. It is D 810 in Otto Erich Deutsch's thematic catalog of Schubert's works."

Recording Information

Composer Franz Schubert
Work String Quartet No 14 in D Minor 'Death and the Maiden', D. 810
Performers The Budapest String Quartet
Date Recorded 23rd to 26th of January 1927
Date Restored 10th June 2015
Serial Numbers HMV D1422-6
Recording Cutter Western Electric, type 1B
Bandwidth 55Hz to 5.5kHz
Transfer Stylus 3.5 mil truncated conical
Transfer Cartridge Stanton 500 at 5g
Transfer Turntable Hitachi HT-350 at 78RPM
Cutter Compensation 250Hz first order lift down to 40Hz
Click Reduction DeClick, wavelet mode, 48, 2 passes
Crackle Reduction DeCrackle, wavelet mode, 43, 3 passes
Low Frequency NR DeNoise LF, mono, 150Hz, -46dB
Wideband NR DeNoise, static noise floor, -9dB
Limiting Filter 48dB/octave Butterworth, at bandwidth limits
Additional Eq. Western Electric microphone compensation, 2.9kHz -5dB dip

Restoration Notes

This set of discs was cut very 'hot' indeed, so much so that pre-echo can be heard at some points during the 3rd movement. This is quite handy because, while aesthetically in good shape, the discs that this recording came on were rather noisy in comparison to most of the others that I have from this era. Fortunately, there isn't too much distortion. Conservative levels of click and crackle reduction were used, as the recording did not respond particularly well, partly due to the already very strong levels. Still, the noise level is very acceptable.

It's easy to hear the rather dry 'boxy' sound, typical of American Victor recordings. This is mainly due to the close micing techniques, as well as the tendency to use smaller recording studios than European companies.

Copyright Disclaimer

The audio tracks listed on this page are digital restorations of 78 RPM records in my possession, whose mechanical copyright has expired before the time of this pages publication. No later release is used so any copyright affecting such a release does not apply to any of the sound recordings shown on this page. Claims to the contrary may be vexatious if pursued. Any communication between parties claiming copyright of the material on this website and the author of this site will be published immediately with great derision. The contents of this page must not be copied represented or sold without express permission.

Michael Fearnley 2015