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Beethoven: The Middle String Quartets / Tokyo Quartet


Release Date: 04/05/1991 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 60462   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 30 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Let me say straight away that the Tokyo Quartet's set of the middle-period quartets is among the most impressive to have appeared in recent years. Although I would not necessarily recommend it in preference to the Vegh (Audivis Valois), the Talich (Calliope), or (in the case of the Rasumovsky Quartets) the Lindsay on ASV that have dominated the catalogue for so long, it is surely a set to reckon with. In terms of sheer technical perfection and ensemble it yields no ground to the Vermeer (Teldec), Orford (Delos), Alban Berg (EMI) or Guarneri (RCA). And their technical finesse, spot-on intonation and superb ensemble are all the more impressive for being at the service of the music. I started with the F major Rasumovsky, undoubtedly the Read more greatest of the three, whose opening in the Tokyo's hands is magnificent in its breadth. They have a good feeling for the architecture and shape of each movement, and throughout the work they are fully aware of the depth of this music.

You may recall the hoary adage comparing a translation to a woman: if it is faithful, it is not beautiful, if it is beautiful, it is unfaithful. Similarly, if a performance sets greater store by beauty than fidelity, it risks gaining the former at the cost of the latter; if it sets its sights on truth first and beauty second, it stands to gain both. The Vegh and the Talich often risk beauty of finish in their search for truth. But at its best this sumptuously but truthfully recorded new issue has both ... I like it far more than any of the rival versions that have crossed the Atlantic in recent years.

-- Robert Layton, Gramophone [3/1992]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 7 in F major, Op. 59 no 1 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1805-6 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no 2 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 10 in E flat major, Op. 74 "Harp" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 9 in C major, Op. 59 no 3 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1805/6 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 11 in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1810 

Sound Samples

Allegro
Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando
Adagio molto e mesto
Thème russe: Allegro
Allegro
Molto adagio
Allegretto
Finale: Presto
Poco adagio; Allegro
Adagio ma non troppo
Presto; Più presto quasi prestissimo
Allegretto con variazioni

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