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Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets / Hungarian Quartet


Release Date: 03/24/2017 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 559983  
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Number of Discs: 7 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Hungarian Quartet, formed in 1935, embodied the very best of the Central European tradition of string-playing, and this cycle, recorded in Paris in the early 1950s, represents an essential staging post in the quest for Beethoven. “These performances will give endless pleasure,” wrote Gramophone, “… the ensemble attack and technical proficiency of this quartet are beyond praise … and so is their grasp of the music.” These recordings have now been remastered from the original tapes in 24Bit-96kHz digital sound.

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Excerpt of a review from an earlier CD release of this cycle:

The Hungarian String Quartet’s 1953 Beethoven cycle stands the test of time very well, even after a half century of
Read more excellent competition and sonic advances, to say nothing of the group’s own 1960s stereo remake.

The distant and slightly opaque ambience contrasts to the stereo version’s closer, more vibrant and detailed pickup. These sonic characteristics reinforce my general impressions of 1953’s smoother, more uniform ensemble blend versus the later one’s more individual, contradictory approach to phrasing and vibrato and tonal astringency. As a result, first violinist Zoltan Szekely’s intense vibrato makes more of a stinging impact in stereo. For the most part 1953’s tempos are faster, apparently in order to honor the composer’s often optimistic metronome markings, yet they never sound pushed or stressful.

– ClassicsToday (Jed Distler) 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:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 18 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 3 in D major, Op. 18 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 4 in C minor, Op. 18 no 4 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 5 in A major, Op. 18 no 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1798/1800 
6.
Quartet for Strings no 6 in B flat major, Op. 18 no 6 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
7.
Quartet for Strings no 7 in F major, Op. 59 no 1 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1805-6 
8.
Quartet for Strings no 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no 2 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
9.
Quartet for Strings no 9 in C major, Op. 59 no 3 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1805/6 
10.
Quartet for Strings no 10 in E flat major, Op. 74 "Harp" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
11.
Quartet for Strings no 11 in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1810 
12.
Quartet for Strings no 12 in E flat major, Op. 127 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823-1825; Vienna, Austria 
13.
Grosse Fuge for String Quartet in B flat major Op. 133 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
14.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
15.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1826 
16.
Quartet for Strings no 15 in A minor, Op. 132 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
17.
Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian String Quartet
Written: 1826 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Recommend! April 19, 2017 By n. evans (Farmington, NM) See All My Reviews "Hungarian Quartet - Complete String Quartets made in the 1950's but sound is great. If you don't have a set of the complete Beethoven quartets already this is a good place to start." Report Abuse
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