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Beethoven: Late String Quartets / Alban Berg Quartet


Release Date: 09/13/2005 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 76824   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 12 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

If you don't already have any recordings of Beethoven's late string quartets, by all means get this one by the Alban Berg Quartet. There hasn't been a set to equal it since it was originally released in a different configuration in the early '90s -- the Emerson's overly enthusiastic but not especially insightful set? oh, come on! -- and there hadn't been many to equal it before the '90s, only the Quartetto Italiano's wonderfully balanced and incredibly lovely set, the Quatuor Végh's supremely intense and transcendentally sublime set, and the Berg's own earlier, extremely concentrated and austerely passionate set. And even the Italiano, the Végh, and the earlier Berg could only equal what the latter Berg achieves in this set. Read more Recorded live in Vienna in 1989, the second Berg set is even more concentrated -- listen to the Fugue that opens the C sharp minor quartet -- and even more passionate -- listen to the Cavatina at the center of the B flat major quartet. Better yet, the tone is more beautiful -- listen to the Lento assai e cantante tranquillo in the F major quartet. And, best of all, the interpretations are more luminous -- listen to the coda of the Molto adagio of the A minor quartet. While you can never have too many great recordings of Beethoven's late quartets, if you can only have one, get this one. EMI's live digital sound is a bit close, but palpably real.

-- James Leonard, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 12 in E flat major, Op. 127 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823-1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1989 
Venue:  Live  Mozart Hall, Konzerthaus, Vienna,Austria 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1989 
Venue:  Live  Mozart Hall, Konzerthaus, Vienna,Austria 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Written: 1826 
Date of Recording: 06/1989 
Venue:  Live  Mozart Hall, Konzerthaus, Vienna,Austria 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 15 in A minor, Op. 132 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1989 
Venue:  Live  Mozart Hall, Konzerthaus, Vienna,Austria 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Written: 1826 
Date of Recording: 06/1989 
Venue:  Live  Mozart Hall, Konzerthaus, Vienna,Austria 
6.
Grosse Fuge for String Quartet in B flat major Op. 133 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1989 
Venue:  Live  Mozart Hall, Konzerthaus, Vienna,Austria 

Sound Samples

String Quartet No. 12 in E flat Op. 127: I. Maestoso - Allegro
String Quartet No. 12 in E flat Op. 127: II. Adagio ma non troppo, molto cantabile
String Quartet No. 12 in E flat Op. 127: III. Scherzando vivace
String Quartet No. 12 in E flat Op. 127: IV. Finale
String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major Op. 130: I. Adagio ma non troppo - Allegro
String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major Op. 130: II. Presto
String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major Op. 130: III. Andante con moto, ma non troppo
String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major Op. 130: IV. Alla danza tedesca (Allegro assai)
String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major Op. 130: V. Cavatina (Adagio molto espressivo)
String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major Op. 130: VI. Finale (Allegro)
Grosse Fuge in B flat major Op. 133
String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 131: I. Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo
String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 131: II. Allegro molto vivace
String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 131: III. Andante moderato
String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 131: IV. Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile
String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 131: V. Presto
String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 131: VI. Adagio quasi un poco andante
String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 131: VII. Allegro

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Comes to Life May 14, 2013 By Mark Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh, PA) See All My Reviews "The world of Beethoven's later years comes to life here. I think this is a good account of the six quartet pieces that Beethoven creatively accomplished during this period. there is creativity and serenity in these pieces. It's very enjoyable to listen to them, even consecutively. I can't widely compare this quartet (The Alban Berg Quartet) with many others on this set of pieces, but I like the largely relaxed and lyrical style they employ here. They coalesce nicely on nearly every movement. I like particularly Op 127, the fugue in B-flat, and the final two pieces. That is my current preference; the other pieces are probably equally good. I got this CD partly because I had a couple Alban Berg Quartet Cd's, and their playing seems to me high level and well-considered." Report Abuse
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