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Beethoven: The String Quartets / Emerson String Quartet [7-CD Collector's Edition]


Release Date: 10/19/2010 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001477002  
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Number of Discs: 7 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Beethoven quartets have always been at the core 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 Reviewing DG 447075
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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
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 1 in F major, Op. 18 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 18 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 4 in C minor, Op. 18 no 4 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1798/1800 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 5 in A major, Op. 18 no 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson 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:  Emerson 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:  Emerson 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:  Emerson 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:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1805/6 
10.
Quartet for Strings no 10 in E flat major, Op. 74 "Harp" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson 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:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1810 
12.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
13.
Quartet for Strings no 12 in E flat major, Op. 127 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1823-1825; Vienna, Austria 
14.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1826 
15.
Quartet for Strings no 15 in A minor, Op. 132 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
16.
Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Written: 1826 
17.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 
18.
Grosse Fuge for String Quartet in B flat major Op. 133 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1825-1826; Vienna, Austria 

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 )
 Among the best recordings of Beethoven's quartets November 11, 2013 By lawrence  f. (new york, NY) See All My Reviews "If you're looking for CD's of Beethoven's quartets, you can't go wrong with the Emerson Quartet's recordings. Their interpretation, pace, and sesitiviy are superb. The quality of the sound is excellent and an added bonus is the price although I think their renditions of the middle and late quartets are priceless. This is at least equal if not superior to the Tokyo and Takacs quartets' versions." Report Abuse
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