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Beethoven: Quartets Op 131 & 132 / Alban Berg Quartett

Release Date: 08/12/1997 
Label:  Emi Classics Red Line Catalog #: 69793   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Completed in 1826 and cast in seven movements the String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131 was dedicated to Baron Joseph von Stutterheim. In the opening movement the ABQ are extremely serious and provide a feeling of intense yearning. One feels the absolute concentration and open-hearted penetration of the Viennese ensemble in the second movement allegro with playing of affectionate tenderness in the very short allegro moderato. In the lengthy andante the ABQ bring a compassionate vulnerability that they unfold with telling fluency. In the presto they are exciting and bold yet always in control. I was struck by their well thought out tempos in the brief adagio where nothing is forced and everything seems fresh and astonishingly vital. In the final Read more allegro there is alert playing of authority and of commitment.

...String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132 [was] composed in 1825 and dedicated to Prince Nikolas Galitzin. The premiere was given in November 1825. This is a massive work that plays typically for over forty minutes. The ABQ offer radiant playing of passion and sensibility with Beethoven’s often oppressive and unresolved anxieties fully expressed in the opening movement. I was impressed with their refined, gracious and responsive interpretation in the allegro ma non tanto. There is magisterial playing in the epic slow movement molto adagio where they communicate an inspired solemnity. The Austrians are bright and sparkling in the short alla marcia, assai vivace and they provide a remarkable depth of feeling with playing of great dignity in the finale.

-- Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
Written: 1826 
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 

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