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Beethoven: String Quartets No 2 & 3 / Quatuor Mosaïques


Release Date: 04/24/2007 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 8902   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Erich HöbarthAndrea BischofAnita MittererChristophe Coin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mosaïques String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 52 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Clear yet alluringly warm sonics complement the performances nicely.

Early Beethoven is trickier than it looks. To play these works as if they were already, well, Beethoven in all his grandeur risks inflation and overkill. Yet, for all the music's firm grounding in Classical structures and techniques, treating it in a finicky, quasi-Rococo manner clearly misses the mark as well.

These performances by the Quatuor Mosaïques, a "period" string quartet, find just the right balance. Gestures such as dotted rhythms are projected with a propulsive lightness that is very much in the Classical style - and, incidentally, keeps the leisurely Scherzos in motion. Meanwhile, the dark, solid ensemble
Read more sonority ensures a sense of weight and importance.

Their approach definitely suits the G major quartet, with the second movement - a tripartite Adagio cantabile/Allegro/Tempo I sequence - alternating effectively between introspective gravitas and anxious forward currents. In this piece, unfortunately, intonation is a question. Not that the quartet has general tuning problems - they occupy the broad middle ground between the Alban Berg's or Tokyo's every-note-in-place and the Amadeus's or Guarneri's close-but-no-cigar - but it goes awry when faced with Beethoven's more adventurous modulation sequences. There's a particularly hairy one in the first movement, where the first violin - it's not clear which of the two players it is - rides conspicuously sharp throughout, compounding an already confused situation further.

The D major is actually an altogether bigger-framed piece than its roughly contemporaneous predecessor, thus posing fewer interpretive quandaries. The Mosaïques players respond accordingly, filling it out with big, expansive tone - the Andante con moto blossoms most impressively - that points the way to later Beethoven; and there are no disabling problems with intonation here.

Clear yet alluringly warm sonics complement the performances nicely.

-- Stephen Francis Vasta, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 18 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Erich Höbarth (Violin), Andrea Bischof (Violin), Anita Mitterer (Viola),
Christophe Coin (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mosaïques String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 3 in D major, Op. 18 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Erich Höbarth (Violin), Anita Mitterer (Viola), Andrea Bischof (Violin),
Christophe Coin (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mosaïques String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 

Sound Samples

String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18, No. 2: I. Allegro
String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18, No. 2: II. Adagio cantabile
String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18, No. 2: III. Scherzo: Allegro
String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18, No. 2: IV. Allegro molto quasi presto
String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18, No. 3: I. Allegro
String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18, No. 3: II. Andante con moto
String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18, No. 3: III. Allegro
String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18, No. 3: IV. Presto

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