- String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135
- String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18/3
- String Quartet No. 5 in A major, Op. 18/5
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With this release of two early quartets and his last completed quartet, the Artemis Quartet rounds off Beethoven’s complete string quartet cycle for Virgin Classics. “His music speaks to every era,” they say, “It is a perfect dialogue between tradition and modernity, and between intellectual refinement and raw emotion.”
Beethoven’s extraordinary musical evolution is traced in the cycle, which remains the touchstone of the quartet repertoire. The Artemis’ passionate engagement with the composer’s music was summarized by Die Zeit: “An ensemble that, when compared to groups on a similar level of perfection, seems to approach the repertoire from another horizon. Many quartets convey an air in their playing of rarefied workmanship and detached refinement from the world. They explore the music within the notes. The members of the Artemis come as people who live life, and life is what they seek in Beethoven too.” From the Label