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Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 59, Nos. 1 & 2
Boris Kroyt, Alexander Schneider, Mischa Schneider
Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 59, Nos. 1 & 2
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

Beethoven's Razumovksy Quartets are named after the Russian aristocrat who commissioned them, stipulating that the composer must include a Russian tune in each work. Anyone familiar with Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov wi...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Boris Kroyt, Alexander Schneider, Mischa Schneider, Budapest String Quartet
Title: Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 59, Nos. 1 & 2
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/1991
Re-Release Date: 8/19/1991
Genre: Classical
Style: Chamber Music
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074644654523

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Beethoven's Razumovksy Quartets are named after the Russian aristocrat who commissioned them, stipulating that the composer must include a Russian tune in each work. Anyone familiar with Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov will recognize one of these tunes as nothing less than the famous "Slava" chorus from the coronation scene. Otherwise the music is pure, middle period Beethoven, having that particular expansive lyricism and confidence that typifies contemporay works such as the Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos and the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. The performances by the legendary Budapest Quartet are outstanding in every way, and the price is rock bottom. --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

If you don't know the Quartets, you don't know Beethoven!
01/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Beethoven is known, of course, most widely for his symphonies, and then his concerti and sonatas. But he also wrote what is arguably the greatest body of chamber music on the planet, and that's saying a lot, with competition like Haydn and Mozart. But no other cycle in his work is more quintessential, more archetypically "Beethoven"-- than the string quartets. Written largely in three bundles, early on in his career, a the height of the most popular "Second Period", and at the very end of his life, they are the greatest cycle of chamber music ever composed. And just as the "Eroica" was the watershed of the Second style in his symphonic output, so the three "Razumovsky" Quartets of Opus 59 are to this chamber works. This disc has two of the three, Op. 59 no. 1 in F Major and Op. 59 no. 2 in E Minor. And what a disc it is! Some critics-- notably the Penguin Guide, never very sympathetic to the "American" interpretive style -- have been niggardly with their praise. But I find this recording the very best of these two magnificent works. Their concentration in the tense and terse E Minor is wonderful; their rendition of the F Major is, simply, second to none. The first movement -- a distinct parallel to that of the Third Symphony -- is rich, rhapsodic, wonderfully interpreted. And the second movement! This is one of Beethoven's most amazing pieces, a remarkable creation, like nothing else he (or anyone else) ever wrote: part scherzo, part sonata-allegro, part rondo, and transcending them all: a mercurial, otherwordly, kaleidoscopic piece of razor sharp wit, here played to the Nth Degree! There are other great recordings of these works -- one that stands out is the VOX recording of the New Hungarian Quartet playing the Middle Quartets, containing the finest available version of the 11th Quartet in F Minor, the "Quartetto Serioso"-- but this recording just has the edge interpretively as well as techincally, and is head and shoulders above many other much more highly priced renditions. A basic must-have for any respectable Classical collection!"
Perfect. Period.
Ramon Kranzkuper | Gainesville, FL | 03/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Perfect is the only word that can describe this rendition. There's solemnity when it's required, panache when permissible, vigour when it's warranted - in short, "just as the Master intended". The first and last movements of op. 59 #2 of this performance moves one to tears. There's a fiery intensity combined with a sensitive understanding in all these performances that makes this a definite buy.There's a certain je ne sais quoi about perfect renditions which makes it extremely difficult to describe their qualities in words. These particular recordings have that stamp of perfection about them - it's almost magic, the way the transitions between passion, delicateness, and blitheness are done.About the music itself - the Razumovskys, I feel, are talked about less than they should be. #1 is almost a symphony, with the resolution in the final movement as perfect as any. #2 is dense, the buildup patient and painstaking, the scherzo wonderfully diverting, and the climax heart-wrenchingly passionate. This climax - mvt. 4 of #3 - is one of my top-15 pieces of music, if one may be permitted to maintain such a list."
Second opinion
sphaerenklang | UK | 08/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I listened to it on another sound system and the recording was OK, not too harsh as I said... At this price you can afford to experiment!"