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Beethoven: Late String Quartets
Ludwig van Beethoven, Guarneri Quartet, John Dalley
Beethoven: Late String Quartets
Genre: Classical
 
The Guarneri Quartet has forgotten more about the late quartets of Beethoven than most other ensembles will ever know. They understand the profound lyrical impulse behind these works, and they manage the paradoxical feat o...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Ludwig van Beethoven, Guarneri Quartet, John Dalley, David Soyer, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree
Title: Beethoven: Late String Quartets
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA Gold Seal
Release Date: 10/10/1990
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPCs: 090266045822, 009026604582

Synopsis

Amazon.com essential recording
The Guarneri Quartet has forgotten more about the late quartets of Beethoven than most other ensembles will ever know. They understand the profound lyrical impulse behind these works, and they manage the paradoxical feat of imparting a sublime sense of inevitability to the music while achieving spontaneity at the same time. The interpretations serve the music admirably, though the sound is somewhat veiled. Although the set is rather awkwardly laid out--Op. 127 is split between two discs, and the Grosse Fuge appears on a separate disc from Op. 130, to which it was the original finale--the insights are worth the trouble. --Ted Libbey

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CD Reviews

Guarneri makes late Beethoven accessible and deeply moving
Snookie | HUMMELSTOWN, PA USA | 03/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have been an avid classical music consumer for over 30 years, as well as being a professional musician and teacher. With the exception of the 9th symphony, most late Beethoven tends to be a style of music which can be best described as deeply profound. This is not music with a lot of bells and whistles. It tends to require repeated concentrated listening to achieve a maximum level of understanding and enjoyment.
Nowhere is this more true than in the string quartets of Opp. 127, 130, 131, 132 and 135.I have found that the Guarneri String Quartet has served as an excellent guide to these spiritual adventures in music. The heartfelt simplicity of their playing along with their matchless execution, and intonation helps to make the late Beethoven quartets a deeply moving experience every time I listen to them. The Cavatina from Op. 130 (Adagio molto espressivo- slow, with much expression), is to me the musical description of the soul meeting God. If you are a newcomer to this literature, you might consider checking out the early and middle quartets first. If your'e a veteran listener, I found this recording deeply satisfying."
Sublime Agony and peace
Ehab Shoubaki | Orlando, FL USA | 03/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is music born out of a lifespan of extreme agony that melted away into peace and content , such expression is unequalled in all music ( perhaps with the exception of Wagner)The performance is perfection , the slow movements will bring tears into your eyes , the fast will engulf you with their intellect and energy . Those people really "understand" what the music is saying , there're not simply playing notes ."
Superb Stereo Quartets from the 60s
Frank "the man" | Alberta Canada | 11/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Guarneri recording of Beethoven's Late String Quartets completes one of the greatest sets of work of any composer in history. The final quartets were arguably, along with the 3rd and 9th Symphonies, never exceeded for dynamism, tension, and invention that goes right to the listener's soul. As with the other 2 volumes, this set is every bit as beautifully played and sonically outstanding. Recorded in 1968-69, near the end of the Golden Age of Stereo Classical recordings from the US - a period, by the way, that is generally agreed to be between 1955-1970 - these performances just get better with the passing years. I suspect one reason for it is that the late 60s were the height of the hippie period and classical music had quite a following especially among the University crowd. This is very evident in the tension and strength, especially in Op.132 and the Grosse Fuge, Op.133, along with the famous Guarneri edge and attack that never seems overdone but is wholly convincing. We just don't hear that kind of playing today. The sound is very spatially accurate and splendid to listen to and as I mentioned in my comments on the previous 2 volumes (The Early and Middle Quartets), some of the warmth of the old 60s LPs has been sacrificed, but you honestly feel these 4 gentlemen are right in front of you as you listen. The final part of B.H. Haggin's excellent essay is also included and there was no one better to illuminate these great quartets. Full marks to RCA/SONY Classical for keeping these in the catalogue. Why not re-issue the complete Guraneri set in the famous "Original Jackets" series and include the Mozart "Haydn" quartets?Mozart: Six Quartets Dedicated to Haydn Bravo - all around!!"