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Beethoven: Complete String Quartets / Tokyo SQ

Beethoven / Tokyo String Quartet
Release Date: 09/09/2014 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 807641   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Number of Discs: 8 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 8 Hours 25 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews of some recordings that make up this set:

String Quartets No. 1–6
Enjoyable as other digital recordings of Beethoven's first quartets are, this new Tokyo set just about pips all rivals to the post. The reason is primarily one of balance, not only within the group itself but also in terms of overall musical judgement – whether relating to tempo, dynamics or emphases, or simply the way the players combine a sense of classical style with an appreciation of Beethoven's startling originality. If you're after a top-ranking digital set of Op 18, you couldn't do better.

– Gramophone Classical Music Guide 2010

String Quartets No. 7–9
Playing on the celebrated set of
Read more Strads collected by Paganini and previously used by the Cleveland Quartet, the Tokyo produce a splendid collective sound. The performances, polished and thoughtful, provide many insights into the inexhaustible world of Beethoven's imagination.

– Gramophone Magazine [2/2006]

String Quartets No. 10–11
“Although perfection is usually unattainable, I can’t recall any other performances of these two works that are so suggestive of the word. ... If I were restricted to owning only one account of each of these works, I’d opt for this release.” – Mortimer H Frank, International Record Review

String Quartets No. 12–16, Grosse Fuge
Virtuosity serving profundity? An unlikely concept perhaps but it happens here. It's the shared experience that tells - the dovetailing of the parts, of knowing when to blend or separate, when to assert or comply, all coming together in that tough test, the Grosse Fuge.

– Gramophone Magazine [11/2010] Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 1 in F major, Op. 18 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 05/2006/02/2007 
Venue:  The Fisher Center for the Performing Art 
Length: 27 Minutes 34 Secs. 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 18 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 05/2006/02/2007 
Venue:  The Fisher Center for the Performing Art 
Length: 22 Minutes 34 Secs. 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 3 in D major, Op. 18 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 05/2006/02/2007 
Venue:  The Fisher Center for the Performing Art 
Length: 21 Minutes 59 Secs. 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 4 in C minor, Op. 18 no 4 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 05/2006/02/2007 
Venue:  The Fisher Center for the Performing Art 
Length: 22 Minutes 38 Secs. 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 5 in A major, Op. 18 no 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 05/2006/02/2007 
Venue:  The Fisher Center for the Performing Art 
Length: 26 Minutes 44 Secs. 
6.
Quartet for Strings no 6 in B flat major, Op. 18 no 6 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 05/2006/02/2007 
Venue:  The Fisher Center for the Performing Art 
Length: 22 Minutes 29 Secs. 
7.
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 
Date of Recording: 04/2005 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, Californi 
Length: 40 Minutes 40 Secs. 
8.
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 
Date of Recording: 04/2005 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, Californi 
Length: 35 Minutes 30 Secs. 
9.
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 
Date of Recording: 04/2005 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound, Marin County, Californi 
Length: 30 Minutes 37 Secs. 
10.
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 
Date of Recording: 11/2007 
Venue:  Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, N 
Length: 30 Minutes 27 Secs. 
11.
Quartet for Strings no 11 in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1810 
Date of Recording: 11/2007 
Venue:  Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, N 
Length: 20 Minutes 40 Secs. 
12.
Quartet for Strings no 12 in E flat major, Op. 127 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823-1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/2008 
Venue:  The Fisher Center for the Performing Art 
Length: 35 Minutes 31 Secs. 
13.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1826 
Date of Recording: 05/2008 
Venue:  The Fisher Center for the Performing Art 
Length: 35 Minutes 57 Secs. 
14.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/2008-09/2088 
Venue:  Oji Hall, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 41 Minutes 18 Secs. 
15.
Grosse Fuge for String Quartet in B flat major Op. 133 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/2008-09/2088 
Venue:  Oji Hall, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 16 Minutes 18 Secs. 
16.
Quartet for Strings no 15 in A minor, Op. 132 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/2008-09/2088 
Venue:  Oji Hall, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 43 Minutes 34 Secs. 
17.
Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
Written: 1826 
Date of Recording: 11/2007 
Venue:  Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, N 
Length: 22 Minutes 50 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 An Audiophile's Dream Recording June 16, 2015 By Peter Amsel (Ottawa, Ontario) See All My Reviews "Few ensembles have the bona fides of the Tokyo String Quartet, and the Beethoven cycle is, without doubt, the cornerstone of the repertoire: combine the two and you have a rare combination. The tone of the present ensemble, playing on their matched Stradivari instruments can hardly be surpassed, and the musical intelligence with which they play is simply incomparable. This recording of the complete String Quartets of Beethoven is rich in sonic brilliance and musically aware: every nuance is brought out of the music from the opening of the first Opus 18 quartet to the late quartets, where Beethoven delves into deep romantic expressionism that was decades ahead of his time, music that seems "modern" even by some standards today. The Quartet, No. 15, for example, has an ethereal quality that is rarely encountered and will surely thrill the listener: for this alone the collection is worth purchasing. Considering the cost of the collection, you cannot go wrong with this purchase. At twice the price it would be well worth the price. LaSalle - eat your heart out! Julliard? Go back to school - the Tokyo performs a Master Class with this performance, and you have the best seat in the house. My only complaint is that the encoding on the discs was not correct - when copying to my Mp3 player I had to enter the information manually - but - considering the quality of the sound, the virtuosity of the performance ... it was worth the few minutes of the time it took. Small sacrifice for such sublime music." Report Abuse
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