Beethoven: The String Quartets

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
While not the first complete recorded cycle of the Beethoven "String Quartets," the Amadeus Quartet's late-'50s early-'60s set of the complete Beethoven quartets may be the first great recorded cycle. The Amadeus Quartet was a part-Austrian, part-English ensemble that fused elegance and intelligence and expressivity with virtuosity to create a style of quartet playing wholly suited to the Viennese classics from Mozart through Brahms but which fit Beethoven like a hand-tailored suit. While other ensembles had recorded the Beethoven quartets before the Amadeus, none of those performances had the clarity and lucidity the Amadeus brought to them. Forty years later, the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
While not the first complete recorded cycle of the Beethoven "String Quartets," the Amadeus Quartet's late-'50s early-'60s set of the complete Beethoven quartets may be the first great recorded cycle. The Amadeus Quartet was a part-Austrian, part-English ensemble that fused elegance and intelligence and expressivity with virtuosity to create a style of quartet playing wholly suited to the Viennese classics from Mozart through Brahms but which fit Beethoven like a hand-tailored suit. While other ensembles had recorded the Beethoven quartets before the Amadeus, none of those performances had the clarity and lucidity the Amadeus brought to them. Forty years later, the Amadeus' "Op. 18 Quartets" are still among the best ever recorded: graceful and gracious, witty and intelligent, polished and expressive, the Amadeus' performances embody all that is best in the "early" quartets. The Amadeus' Op. 59 is nearly as great: its complete control of tempo and texture clarifies the thematic and harmonic structures of the quartets and only in the most strenuous passages and deepest movements does the Amadeus seem ever so slightly out of its depths. Similarly, its Op. 74 is one of the most beautiful and expressive ever recorded, but it cannot quite express the unfettered fury of the "Quartet Op. 95." Only in the "late" quartets does the Amadeus sound not entirely up to the challenge of Beethoven's music. While it plays it all superbly, there are times when it seems unable to get beneath the surface of the music to the spiritual depths below and one is left with the impression of great things left unsaid. For all the clarity and lucidity of the Amadeus' performance, there is a sense that it cannot quite face the ultimate profundities of late Beethoven.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/10/2000
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • UPC: 028946314326
  • Catalog Number: 463143
  • Sales rank: 72,970

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 18/1 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (24:37)
  2. 5–8 String Quartet No. 2 in G major ("Compliments"), Op. 18/2 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (22:09)
  3. 9–12 String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18/3 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (21:45)
Disc 2
  1. 1–4 String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18/4 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (20:25)
  2. 5–8 String Quartet No. 5 in A major, Op. 18/5 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (25:00)
  3. 9–12 String Quartet No. 6 in B flat major, Op. 18/6 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (24:05)
Disc 3
  1. 1–4 String Quartet No. 7 in F major ("Rasumovsky 1"), Op. 59/1 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (37:28)
  2. 5–8 String Quartet No. 8 in E minor ("Rasumovsky 2"), Op. 59/2 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (32:36)
Disc 4
  1. 1–4 String Quartet No. 9 in C major ("Rasumovsky 3"), Op. 59/3 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (28:33)
  2. 5–8 String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major ("Harp"), Op. 74 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (31:06)
Disc 5
  1. 1–4 String Quartet No. 11 in F minor ("Serioso"), Op. 95 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (20:53)
  2. 5–8 String Quartet No. 12 in E flat major, Op. 127 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (36:51)
  3. 9–14 Fugue for string quartet in B flat major ("Grosse Fuge"), Op. 133 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (15:20)
Disc 6
  1. 1–6 String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (33:23)
  2. 7–13 String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (39:14)
Disc 7
  1. 1–5 String Quartet No. 15 in A minor ("Heiliger Dankgesang"), Op. 132 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (43:05)
  2. 6–9 String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Amadeus Quartet (25:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Amadeus Quartet Primary Artist
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