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CHAN 10268
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CHAN 10268

Beethoven: String Quartets, Volume 3

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2004

Originally recorded in 2004

Artists:

Borodin Quartet



Venue:

Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory



Producer:

Edward Shakhnazarian



Engineer:

Vitaly Ivanov



Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

String Quartet


Chamber

Total Time - 77:09
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LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

(1770-1827)
Select Complete Single Disc for
   
  String Quartets, Volume 3  
   
 

String Quartet, Op. 95 'Quartett serioso'

22:18  
  in F minor - in f-Moll - en fa mineur  
  To Nik. Zmeskall von Domanovecz  
1 I Allegro con brio 4:54
2 II Allegretto ma non troppo - 7:21
3 III Allegro assai vivace, ma serioso 4:57
4 IV Larghetto espressivo - Allegretto agitato - Allegro 5:04
   
 

String Quartet, Op. 131

38:01  
  in C sharp minor - in cis-Moll - en ut dièse mineur  
  To Baron Joseph von Stutterheim  
5 I Adagio, ma non troppo e molto espressivo 6:11
6 II Allegro molto vivace - 2:55
7 III Allegro moderato - 0:47
8 IV Andante, ma non troppo e molto cantabile - 14:06
9 V Presto - 5:09
10 VI Adagio quasi un poco andante - 1:53
11 VII Allegro 7:00
   
12 

Grosse Fuge, Op. 133

16:52
  for string quartet  
  in B flat major - in B-Dur - en si bémol majeur  
  Overture: Allegro - Fuga  
Beethoven’s quartets contain some of the greatest, most enigmatic music ever written. They have been subjected to the closest scrutiny by the world’s leading musicologists in an effort to ascertain exactly what the composer’s intentions were when he wrote this music, and to capture its essence. There are, of course, many fine recordings of the quartets, but the Borodins’ cycle is rather special. Established in 1945, the Quartet has sixty years’ experience of music-making at the highest level (one of its founding members, cellist Valentin Berlinsky, is still part of the Quartet). Their many years together enable them to play with a seemingly telepathic empathy, making the Borodin Quartet’s interpretations of these string quartets aunique experience.

Third in the acclaimed series of Beethoven String Quartets.

The Borodin Quartet continues to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary season in February 2005 with performances of Beethoven’s quartets at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.


"Beethoven’s Quartet in C sharp minor, Op. 131 holds a unique and disturbing fascination for performers and public. Ruben Aharonian outlines two of its technical problems. The first is that C sharp minor – an unusual key shared with the earlier but equally revolutionary ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, is ‘very difficult for intonation… because there’s no open string you can use to relieve the pressure, and it’s impossible to adjust or tune between movements in this enormous quartet with no interruption…’ – which is the second problem. Uniquely, Beethoven wrote directions for seven interlinked musical numbers, two of which (3 and 6) are introductions rather than movements. Nothing quite like the beginning, with its chromatic fugue theme and startling accent on the fourth note, had ever been heard before. Berlioz remarked, on first hearing the quartet, that Beethoven ‘soared into regions where one breathes with difficulty’."

These Borodin accounts are distinguished by their feeling of spontaneity; the continual small rubati and emphases may be worked out in advance but sound like spur-of-the-moment inflections as each player lives the music. Another striking overall impression is of tonal beauty, with a near perfect blend of sounds.
Gramophone on Volume 1

Valentin Berlinsky, cellist and founding member of the quartet in 1945, has been waiting to make this set his whole career, and calls it ‘the great dream of my life: to play all Beethoven’s quartets from first to last’. A worthwhile dream. Each of the volumes in the set thus far have been invested with palpable love… the playing here is uniformly committed – and a joy.
American Record Guide

This redoubtable Russian group plays with all the powerful, focused tone youd expect and brings out the entire wealth of Beethovens colour in these fiery performances.
Classic FM Magazine on Volume 2

This set of Neilsen symphonies was recorded I the Stockholm Concert Hall between November 1992 and March 1993 and is now issued at mid-price. Musicianship is superb across all sox of these masterpieces, and it the set can’t be recommended wholeheartedly, it is because of the conductor’s conceptual temperament. Like a number of aging conductors, Rozhdestvensky tends to slow down to emphasis the music’s emotional weight. Our Mr Barker and Mr Hansen reviewed these performances in some detail and decided that this approach contains advantages… but also disadvantages… The overall richness and commitment to the music is undeniable – as is the quality of the sound. There’s no denying either that Rozhdestvensky is sensitive to quieter moments and rarely loses tautness while making good points, especially in the heavier 5 and 6.
American Record Guide




*****
G James

*****
S Greene