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Beethoven: String Quartets Op 131 & 135 / Bernstein

Release Date: 11/10/1992 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 435779   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

In Jonathan Cott’s book Dinner with Lenny, which contains Bernstein’s last interview, the conductor identifies two recordings as his favorites: Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and his string orchestra version of Beethoven’s Quartet in C sharp minor, Op 131. Bernstein praises the amazing unanimity of the Vienna Philharmonic strings, their remarkable sensitivity and wealth of nuance. He was certainly correct: the scherzo fifth movement, for example, is a miracle of accurate intonation and rhythmic precision from an orchestra whose special sound is often thought to stem, at least in part, from a certain comfortable, casualness of ensemble (sound clip).

Be that as it may, the entire group
Read more seems to have enjoyed itself thoroughly with the challenge of imitating convincingly a chamber-music sonority, only more so. The long central Andante also has amazing concentration and subtlety, while the concluding allegro has a physical impact that quartet performances can only imagine. Bernstein and the orchestra repeat the same trick with F major Quartet, Op. 135, although the digital sonics aren’t quite as warm as those for the analog Op. 131. It’s easy to understand, in short, why Bernstein regarded this recording as something very special. It is.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1826 
Date of Recording: 09/1977 
Venue:  Live  Konzerthaus, Vienna 
Length: 46 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1826 
Date of Recording: 09/1989 
Venue:  Live  Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna 
Length: 31 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 C-sharp minor Quintet September 27, 2012 By Tom C. See All My Reviews "I heard the orchestral version of Beethoven's C-sharp minor Quintet on my wi-fi radio tuned to WCRB, Boston one night recently, and was completely blown away. I checked the WCRB playlist for the title and label for this performance. Purchased from ArkivMusic through Amazon.com. My copy arrived in just three days. I am delighted with the recording and the service from ArkivMusic. Would certainly buy from them again." Report Abuse
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