Magazine article Gramophone. From the s through to the s DG's Amadeus Quartet legacy spells one quality above all: class. Those handsome LPs, invariably adorned either with a distinctive painting or a stylish portrait of the 'sublime four' themselves, are reproduced in miniature, enveloping each of the 70 CDs.
Combative and mischievous sample the amusing last track on the bonus disc , but above all affectingly musical, the Amadeus Quartet, whose personnel remained unchanged for its duration , maintained a recognisable playing style that contrasted with other groups of the day quartets such as the Budapest, Juilliard, Guarneri and Italian , their pooled tone dulcet yet robust, their approach developing with the years so that when you compare, say, their three versions of Schubert's Death and the Maiden Quartet , , , you'll note how the earliest finale is driven almost to the point of violence, the middle recording combines precision with supple expressiveness and the last recording witnesses a new-found mellowness.
Yes, you'll easily recognise the ensemble you're listening to, but you'll also note, no doubt with interest as well as appreciation, a palpable maturing process. And there's the question of repeats.
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Take Mozart's Hunt Quartet--four recordings this time, , a first release on CD , , where, apart from the percipient contrasts in shifts, tempo relations, dynamics, emphases, nuancing and so on, the first and last recordings include the first-movement exposition repeat, but the middle two don't. Also, in the version, there's the Amadeus's exquisite playing of the two high chords that precede the repeat's return.
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There's a similar situation with the G minor String Quintet, K all six quintets are included--three versions of this particular work, from , and respectively. Again, the middle version is the culprit with no first-movement repeat, whereas in the recording, at the Adagio start of the finale, Martin Lovett's cello is virtually inaudible, which is a great shame given that this is one the great dialoguing moments in Mozart's chamber-music output. According to Barlow, in about three years' time it will have modernised the entire Sabre system platform, spending "hundreds of millions of dollars" in the process.
That way it gets re-risked," says Klein. For instance, carriers like Midwest Airlines are able to implement parts of SabreSonic on their way to upgrading their entire customer services system. Midwest has just brought in a SabreSonic solution that enables it to up sell economy passengers to its greater legroom seats in all of its distribution channels: online, offline, direct, and travel agency. It began developing Altea in and was arguably the first major supplier, along with Unisys, that made a commitment to develop new generation systems.
Sabre's Klein points to a win at Saudi Arabian Airlines as proof that there are still major carriers in the market for these major projects. It's a lot of pain and a lot of money and with the Amadeus solution there may not be a lot of benefit.
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We think they've built a new legacy system. Spagnou refutes this, saying that Altea is built using the industry standard Unix operating system which is easier to upgrade and amend compared to legacy platforms.
Jamila Gordon, chief information officer at Qantas, is confident its backing of Altea is not giving it a legacy solution and says that its transition to Altea is already bringing benefits. We see improved on-time departures and we see that training time has gone down. There is a single source of customer data, simpler work flows and it gives customers a modern, consistent service approach.
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Qantas began working on Altea in and has now cut over to Altea to manage its entire sales, reservations, inventory and departure control functions. This allows Qantas, its passengers and check-in agents to benefit from a single view of all passenger details at every touchpoint, says Amadeus.
Since May, when Qantas began using the Departure Control check-in and flight boarding system it has brought it into service at 80 airport terminals, boarded over 5. Competitors have criticised Amadeus for the time taken to go live with the full Altea solution.
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According to Sabre's Klein: "We have 85 customers on our departure control system at a cost point nobody seems able to touch. Is it based on a legacy platform - yes - but it does everything anyone wants it to do.
The switch from British Airways to Qantas as the launch customer three years ago is part of the reason for the lengthy implemention, says Spagnou. BA's move to the new Terminal 5 at London Heathrow caused the carrier to freeze its plans for the Altea transfer. But since then the project has not been "significantly delayed" and Amadeus and Qantas have undertaken a cautious migration for what is a complex project, says Spagnou.