Album: Schubert, Quintet in C, etc / Belcea Quartet (EMI)

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If all you want is a strong performance of "Death and the Maiden", you will have a hard time choosing between the Belcea Quartet's latest recording and last year's release from the Jerusalem Quartet.

Here, however, the harrowing intensity of Schubert's most famous string quartet is extended through the severe beauty of the Quartet in G (awkwardly divided over two discs) and the epic narrative of the Quintet in C, where cellist Valentin Erben matches the lean, concentrated Belcea sound in long, intelligent phrases.