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Beethoven: Complete String Quartets / Quartetto di Cremona


Release Date: 07/06/2018 
Label:  Audite   Catalog #: 21454  
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Lawrence Dutton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String QuartetQuartetto di Cremona
Number of Discs: 8 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The celebrated recording of the Complete Beethoven String Quartets with the Quartetto di Cremona is now once again available. This edition makes available all the composer’s string quartets, alongside his String Quintet No. 29 (the only original work by Beethoven with this scoring), in the highest quality. “…such warm playing; such perfection… what a glory this is.” (The Herald) “The Cremona’s Beethoven project hurtles towards an exciting climax.” (The Strad) During the past eighteen years the Quartetto di Cremona has matured into a string quartet of international renown and has acquired an excellent national and international reputation. Having for many years performed at the great international halls, it is often considered as the Read more successor to the famous Quartetto Italiano. The musical style of the Quartetto di Cremona is marked by a fruitful tension between Italian and German-Austrian influences. Following their academic studies the players continued their training with Piero Farulli of the Quartetto Italiano. He strongly favored intuitive playing and a fervent, emotional, romantic, and “Italian” approach to music. Afterwards the musicians pursued their studies with Hatto Beyerle of the Alban Berg Quartet. He represented a clear, classical “German-Austrian” style. Both teachers significantly influenced the quartet, and the players naturally combine both poles, mixing enthusiasm with a sense of musical architecture.

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Excerpts of reviews from some of the previously released volumes making up this set:

Complete String Quartets, Vol. 5

The reason to choose this disc is for the rarely heard String Quintet in C Op 29. The group’s Italianate grace comes into its own in this radiant music.

– Guardian (UK)

Complete String Quartets, Vol. 7

The ensemble's ongoing cycle has particularly impressed with its visceral excitement and pulsating energy. They demonstrate consummate mastery of soft mysterious playing, experienced here to best advantage in the unexpectedly veiled sounds they conjure up.

– BBC Music Magazine

Complete String Quartets Vol 3

I particularly like the way they combine early, middle, and late Beethoven: it sets up fascinating tensions and counterpoints. Their opening of the Grosse Fuge is a reminder that this is one of the greatest of all gauntlet-throwing-down gestures in music. It's immensely ballsy playing, sweaty, almost anarchic.

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 6 in B flat major, Op. 18 no 6 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 11 in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String Quartet
Written: 1810 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String Quartet
Written: 1826 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no 2 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 12 in E flat major, Op. 127 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823-1825; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Quartet for Strings no 4 in C minor, Op. 18 no 4 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
7.
Grosse Fuge for String Quartet in B flat major Op. 133 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Quartet for Strings no 7 in F major, Op. 59 no 1 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String Quartet
Written: 1805-6 
9.
Quartet for Strings no 1 in F major, Op. 18 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1798/1800; Austria 
10.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String Quartet
Written: 1826 
11.
Quintet for Strings in C major, Op. 29 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Lawrence Dutton (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
12.
Quartet for Strings no 15 in A minor, Op. 132 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
13.
Quartet for Strings no 5 in A major, Op. 18 no 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
Period: Classical 
Written: 1798/1800 
14.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
15.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 18 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
Written: 1798/1800 
16.
Quartet for Strings no 9 in C major, Op. 59 no 3 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
Written: 1805/6 
17.
Quartet for Strings no 3 in D major, Op. 18 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
Written: 1798/1800 
18.
Quartet for Strings no 10 in E flat major, Op. 74 "Harp" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 fine August 11, 2018 By Andrew Stern stern (Berkeley, CA) See All My Reviews "i have the old budapest , tackas and others ...these sound fine and are very lively" Report Abuse
 The precision of ideas July 12, 2018 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "I've been keeping an ear on Audite's complete Beethoven String Quartets series with the Quartetto di Cremona as they've been released since the recordings began in 2012, though I missed a few along the way. Now with this release of the complete quartets on 8 CDs I can take a long close look at the well-received series from this fine group, who hail from the city of the great stringed instrument-makers. These are elegant, controlled performances, though without the final burnished sheen of the Amadeus or Alban Berg Quartets. "Without minute neatness of execution," William Blake once said, "the sublime cannot exist! Grandeur of ideas is founded on precision of ideas." The "final minute neatness" is not here, or at least not all the time, though that neatness would in an case wear a bit thin through a full nine hours of music. The string quartets of Beethoven go on a meandering voyage through his own messy life, from his early days nearly to his death. This music, which began in the candle-lit salons of the Ancien Régime, emerges in the worlds of fashion and celebrity that made him a household name throughout Europe, and comes to an end in the squalor, regret and frustration of his final years. It's all too real to have the same Platonic existence of the music of Bach, though that doesn't make it any less grand, or sublime, in the Blakean sense. The Cremona musicians connect with this real-life Beethoven, his folk-song references, musical jokes and sentimental tags. And yet they're still able to bring a nearly full account of the soaring genius of the late quartets. Consider the Quartetto di Cremona a reliable guide to one of the greatest of all musical journeys." Report Abuse
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