The staying power of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s string quartets rivals that of his symphonies. His quartets are deeply personal works – intensely autobiographical, confessional, intimate, intensely emotional – and among the most insightful works in the quartet repertoire.
The Julliard String Quartet does a magnificent job of presenting Beethoven's material in a technically perfect performance. To a student, this would be the place to start. Classical music walks a tightrope between precision and passion. This recording by the Julliard String Quartet is the best combination of skill, sound, and material.
Audiences around Britain and beyond became devoted followers of the Elias String Quartet s Beethoven Project, in which the complete quartets were performed over the course of two seasons. This disc offers the chance to hear the fruits of the ensemble s collective experience and deep thinking on the works. We are proud to release the second volume of this collection on the Wigmore Hall Live label which presents three masterpieces: String Quartet in F Op. 18 No. 1, String Quartet in A minor Op. 132 and String Quintet in C Op. 29. For the latter the Elias String Quartet is joined by Malin Broman who is in huge demand as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. In this rousing concert, recorded live in concert at Wigmore Hall, the ensemble explores these works with sustained intensity and meticulous attention to detail.
This luxury Belcea Quartet Box brings a new high-definition audiovisual reference recording of Beethoven's Complete String Quartets! The ensemble embarked on the complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets, playing the whole program within twelve days, and recorded at the Wiener Konzerthaus in 2012, with each concert featuring one work from the early, middle and late quartets, including perhaps the most exciting of all works by Beethoven: the Opus 133, the 'Große Fuge' which he wrote as the finale of the quartet Opus 130.
This series of performances dates from between 1966 (when the six quartets Nos. 14-19 dedicated to Haydn were recorded) to 1973 and was rightly saluted on its completion as a fine achievement. The playing of the Quartetto Italiano has a freshness, range and subtlety that vividly realizes the music in all its variety, while technical problems seem to have been solved so that the music-making can be both spontaneous-sounding and thoughtful throughout.
If beauty is truth and truth beauty, then the Quartetto Italiano's late-'60s, early-'70s cycle of the complete Beethoven string quartets is possibly the most truthful cycle ever recorded because it is certainly the most beautiful cycle ever recorded. No quartet has ever played with such consummate beauty of tone, such ideal intonation, and such superb ensemble as the Quartetto Italiano. In the most strenuous passages, in the most awkward, in the most excruciating passages, the Italiano is always and everywhere transcendentally beautiful.
Alfred Schnittke is one of the most prolific and interesting composers of the 20th century. Heir to the Russian traditions of Shostakovich, Schnittke's music is both steeped in the past and wildly experimental. Schnittke composed in serial, free atonal, neoclassical and religious styles, and thus it is hard to get a grasp on him by listening to just one work. This collection of the complete string quartets allows us to gain a perspective on much of his compositional genius, from the serial 1st Quartet to the almost mystical 4th.