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Beethoven: The String Quartets / Emerson String Quartet


Release Date: 03/11/1997 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 447075   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Philip SetzerEugene DruckerLawrence DuttonDavid Finckel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Number of Discs: 7 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 8 Hours 13 Mins. 

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

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Beethoven quartets have always been at the cote of the Emerson Quartet's repertoire, and over the years it has honed its playing of these works to a fine degree. Here in this new set we encounter exaltation, immaculate playing and ensemble precision of awesome proportions (typically, first and second violinists often swap their roles). The Emerson is perhaps the best rehearsed quartet of our century. The playing is not only flawless technically, but reflects a careful study of the music, both formally and in the players' intense preoccupation with textual matters. The recording of this set is also spectacular.

The performances give the impression of having been forged in white heat, such is the breathless intensity of
Read more quick movements and the leashed power of the adagios and andantes. If there is one faint criticism to be made of these superb interpretations, it might be that this continuous intensity can be rather fatiguing - but perhaps this is what Beethoven wanted. And as for the quartet's technical prowess, sample the final fugue in the third Razumovsky Quartet (Op. 59/3): it has to be heard to be believed.

If you are seeking less high-powered readings of these quartets, try the Quartetto Italiano (now a rather old-sounding recording on Philips). For the late quartets, you might sample the Lindsay Quartet (ASV): diere is something to be said for the quiet, radiant beauty of its vision of the Cavatinafrom Op. 130.

But on the whole it is difficult to surpass the Emerson's overall achievement - a real landmark.

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 3 in D major, Op. 18 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Philip Setzer (Violin), Eugene Drucker (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 22 Minutes 58 Secs. 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 1 in F major, Op. 18 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Philip Setzer (Violin), Eugene Drucker (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 26 Minutes 42 Secs. 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 18 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Philip Setzer (Violin), Eugene Drucker (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 01/1995 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 22 Minutes 31 Secs. 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 4 in C minor, Op. 18 no 4 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Eugene Drucker (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin),
David Finckel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 04/1995 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 22 Minutes 37 Secs. 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 5 in A major, Op. 18 no 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Philip Setzer (Violin), Eugene Drucker (Violin),
Lawrence Dutton (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 10/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 26 Minutes 25 Secs. 
6.
Quartet for Strings no 6 in B flat major, Op. 18 no 6 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
Date of Recording: 01/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 24 Minutes 0 Secs. 
7.
Quartet for Strings no 7 in F major, Op. 59 no 1 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1805-6 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 37 Minutes 40 Secs. 
8.
Quartet for Strings no 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no 2 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 34 Minutes 0 Secs. 
9.
Quartet for Strings no 9 in C major, Op. 59 no 3 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1805/6 
Date of Recording: 12/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 29 Minutes 26 Secs. 
10.
Quartet for Strings no 10 in E flat major, Op. 74 "Harp" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/1995 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 29 Minutes 24 Secs. 
11.
Quartet for Strings no 11 in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1810 
Date of Recording: 12/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 18 Minutes 46 Secs. 
12.
Quartet for Strings no 12 in E flat major, Op. 127 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823-1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 36 Minutes 7 Secs. 
13.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1826 
Date of Recording: 03/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 35 Minutes 46 Secs. 
14.
Quartet for Strings no 15 in A minor, Op. 132 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Eugene Drucker (Violin), David Finckel (Cello),
Philip Setzer (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 45 Minutes 0 Secs. 
15.
Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Philip Setzer (Violin), Lawrence Dutton (Viola),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1826 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 22 Minutes 31 Secs. 
16.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 32 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Notes: The order of performance for Opus 130 reflects Beethoven's original version of the quartet--the first five movements followed by the "Grosse Fuge" as the finale. Beethoven's later alternate finale for the quartet follows the "Grosse Fuge". The timing given for Opus 130 represents the first five movements. 
17.
Grosse Fuge for String Quartet in B flat major Op. 133 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 14 Minutes 42 Secs. 
18.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130: 6th movement, Allegro by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Finckel (Cello), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Philip Setzer (Violin),
Eugene Drucker (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1994 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 9 Minutes 50 Secs. 

Sound Samples

String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.18 No.3: 1. Allegro
String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.18 No.3: 2. Andante con moto
String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.18 No.3: 3. Allegro
String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.18 No.3: 4. Presto
String Quartet No.1 in F, Op.18 No.1: 1. Allegro con brio
String Quartet No.1 in F, Op.18 No.1: 2. Adagio affettuoso ed appassionato
String Quartet No.1 in F, Op.18 No.1: 3. Scherzo (Allegro molto)
String Quartet No.1 in F, Op.18 No.1: 4. Allegro
String Quartet No.2 in G, Op.18 No.2: 1. Allegro
String Quartet No.2 in G, Op.18 No.2: 2. Adagio cantabile - Allegro - Tempo I
String Quartet No.2 in G, Op.18 No.2: 3. Scherzo (Allegro)
String Quartet No.2 in G, Op.18 No.2: 4. Allegro molto, quasi presto
String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18 No.4: 1. Allegro ma non tanto
String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18 No.4: 2. Andante scherzoso, quasi allegretto
String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18 No.4: 3. Menuetto (Allegretto)
String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18 No.4: 4. Allegro
String Quartet No.5 in A, Op.18 No.5: 1. Allegro
String Quartet No.5 in A, Op.18 No.5: 2. Menuetto
String Quartet No.5 in A, Op.18 No.5: 3. Andante cantabile
String Quartet No.5 in A, Op.18 No.5: 4. Allegro
String Quartet No.6 in B flat, Op.18 No.6: 1. Allegro con brio
String Quartet No.6 in B flat, Op.18 No.6: 2. Adagio ma non troppo
String Quartet No.6 in B flat, Op.18 No.6: 3. Scherzo (Allegro)
String Quartet No.6 in B flat, Op.18 No.6: 4. La Malinconia (Adagio - Allegretto quasi allegro - Adagio - Allegretto - Poco adagio - Prestissimo)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 cuarteto de cuerdas EMERSON September 16, 2012 By rubenjimenez sanchez See All My Reviews "desearia tener los 16 cuartetos de cuerdas de beethoven, interpretados por el curteto EMERSON, son excelentes ejecutantes." Report Abuse
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