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Beethoven: Complete String Quartets Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, March 11, 1997
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.18 No.3 - 1. Allegro 7:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beethoven: String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.18 No.3 - 2. Andante con moto 7:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Beethoven: String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.18 No.3 - 3. Allegro 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beethoven: String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.18 No.3 - 4. Presto 5:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Beethoven: String Quartet No.1 in F, Op.18 No.1 - 1. Allegro con brio 8:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Beethoven: String Quartet No.1 in F, Op.18 No.1 - 2. Adagio affettuoso ed appassionato 8:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Beethoven: String Quartet No.1 in F, Op.18 No.1 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro molto) 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Beethoven: String Quartet No.1 in F, Op.18 No.1 - 4. Allegro 6:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Beethoven: String Quartet No.2 in G, Op.18 No.2 - 1. Allegro 7:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Beethoven: String Quartet No.2 in G, Op.18 No.2 - 2. Adagio cantabile - Allegro - Tempo I 5:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Beethoven: String Quartet No.2 in G, Op.18 No.2 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro) 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Beethoven: String Quartet No.2 in G, Op.18 No.2 - 4. Allegro molto, quasi presto 5:10$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18 No.4 - 1. Allegro ma non tanto 8:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beethoven: String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18 No.4 - 2. Andante scherzoso, quasi allegretto 7:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Beethoven: String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18 No.4 - 3. Menuetto (Allegretto) 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beethoven: String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18 No.4 - 4. Allegro 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Beethoven: String Quartet No.5 in A, Op.18 No.5 - 1. Allegro 6:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Beethoven: String Quartet No.5 in A, Op.18 No.5 - 2. Menuetto 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Beethoven: String Quartet No.5 in A, Op.18 No.5 - 3. Andante cantabile 8:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Beethoven: String Quartet No.5 in A, Op.18 No.5 - 4. Allegro 6:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Beethoven: String Quartet No.6 in B flat, Op.18 No.6 - 1. Allegro con brio 5:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Beethoven: String Quartet No.6 in B flat, Op.18 No.6 - 2. Adagio ma non troppo 6:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Beethoven: String Quartet No.6 in B flat, Op.18 No.6 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro) 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Beethoven: String Quartet No.6 in B flat, Op.18 No.6 - 4. La Malinconia (Adagio - Allegretto quasi allegro - Adagio - Allegretto - Poco adagio - Prestissimo) 8:16$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: String Quartet No.7 In F, Op.59 No.1 - "Rasumovsky No. 1" - 1. Allegro10:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beethoven: String Quartet No.7 In F, Op.59 No.1 - "Rasumovsky No. 1" - 2. Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando 8:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Beethoven: String Quartet No.7 In F, Op.59 No.1 - "Rasumovsky No. 1" - 3. Adagio molto e mesto11:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beethoven: String Quartet No.7 In F, Op.59 No.1 - "Rasumovsky No. 1" - 4. Thème russe (Allegro) 7:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Beethoven: String Quartet No.8 In E Minor, Op.59 No.2 -"Rasumovsky No. 2" - 1. Allegro 9:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Beethoven: String Quartet No.8 In E Minor, Op.59 No.2 -"Rasumovsky No. 2" - 2. Molto adagio12:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Beethoven: String Quartet No.8 In E Minor, Op.59 No.2 -"Rasumovsky No. 2" - 3. Allegretto 7:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Beethoven: String Quartet No.8 In E Minor, Op.59 No.2 -"Rasumovsky No. 2" - 4. Finale (Presto) 5:17$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 4:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: String Quartet No.9 In C, Op.59 No.3 - "Rasumovsky No. 3" - 1. Introduzione (Andante con moto) - Allegro vivace10:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beethoven: String Quartet No.9 In C, Op.59 No.3 - "Rasumovsky No. 3" - 2. Andante con moto quasi allegretto 8:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Beethoven: String Quartet No.9 In C, Op.59 No.3 - "Rasumovsky No. 3" - 3. Menuetto (Grazioso) 5:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beethoven: String Quartet No.9 In C, Op.59 No.3 - "Rasumovsky No. 3" - 4. Allegro molto 5:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Beethoven: String Quartet No.10 In E Flat, Op.74 - "Harp" - 1. Poco adagio - Allegro 9:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Beethoven: String Quartet No.10 In E Flat, Op.74 - "Harp" - 2. Adagio ma non troppo 8:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Beethoven: String Quartet No.10 In E Flat, Op.74 - "Harp" - 3. Presto - Più presto quasi prestissimo 4:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Beethoven: String Quartet No.10 In E Flat, Op.74 - "Harp" - 4. Allegretto con variazioni 6:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Beethoven: String Quartet No.11 In F Minor, Op.95 - "Serioso" - 1. Allegro con brio 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Beethoven: String Quartet No.11 In F Minor, Op.95 - "Serioso" - 2. Allegretto ma non troppo 6:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Beethoven: String Quartet No.11 In F Minor, Op.95 - "Serioso" - 3. Allegro assai vivace ma serioso 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Beethoven: String Quartet No.11 In F Minor, Op.95 - "Serioso" - 4. Larghetto espressivo - Allegretto agitato 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 5:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: String Quartet No.12 in E flat, Op.127 - 1. Maestoso - Allegro 6:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beethoven: String Quartet No.12 in E flat, Op.127 - 2. Adagio ma non troppo e molto cantabile14:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Beethoven: String Quartet No.12 in E flat, Op.127 - 3. Scherzando vivace 8:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beethoven: String Quartet No.12 in E flat, Op.127 - 4. Finale 6:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Beethoven: String Quartet No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.131 - 1. Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo 6:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Beethoven: String Quartet No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.131 - 2. Allegro molto vivace 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Beethoven: String Quartet No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.131 - 3. Allegro moderato0:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Beethoven: String Quartet No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.131 - 4. Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile - Più mosso - Andante moderato e lusinghiero - Adagio - Allegretto - Adagio, ma non troppo e sempl13:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Beethoven: String Quartet No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.131 - 5. Presto 4:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Beethoven: String Quartet No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.131 - 6. Adagio quasi un poco andante 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Beethoven: String Quartet No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.131 - 7. Allegro 6:17$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 6:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: String Quartet No.15 in A minor, Op.132 - 1. Assai sostenuto - Allegro 9:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beethoven: String Quartet No.15 in A minor, Op.132 - 2. Allegro ma non tanto 9:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Beethoven: String Quartet No.15 in A minor, Op.132 - 3. Canzona di ringraziamento offerta alla divinità da un guarito, in modo lidico (Molto adagio) - Sentendo nuova forza (Andante)17:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beethoven: String Quartet No.15 in A minor, Op.132 - 4. Alla marcia, assai vivace - Più allegro - Presto 2:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Beethoven: String Quartet No.15 in A minor, Op.132 - 5. Allegro appassionato 6:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Beethoven: String Quartet No.16 in F, Op.135 - 1. Allegretto 6:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Beethoven: String Quartet No.16 in F, Op.135 - 2. Vivace 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Beethoven: String Quartet No.16 in F, Op.135 - 3. Lento assai, cantante e tranquillo 6:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Beethoven: String Quartet No.16 in F, Op.135 - 4. Der schwer gefaßte Entschluß (Grave - Allegro - Grave ma non troppo tratto - Allegro) 6:21$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 7:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: String Quartet No.13 in B flat, Op.130 - 1. Adagio ma non troppo - Allegro13:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beethoven: String Quartet No.13 in B flat, Op.130 - 2. Presto 1:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Beethoven: String Quartet No.13 in B flat, Op.130 - 3. Andante con moto ma non troppo. Poco scherzando 6:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beethoven: String Quartet No.13 in B flat, Op.130 - 4. Alla danza tedesca (Allegro assai) 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Beethoven: String Quartet No.13 in B flat, Op.130 - 5. Cavatina ( Adagio molto espressivo) 7:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Beethoven: Grosse Fuge in B flat, Op.13314:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Beethoven: String Quartet No.13 in B flat, Op.130 - 6. Finale (Allegro)10:02$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Emerson String Quartet
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (March 11, 1997)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0000041KV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,400 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Overall, a wonderful recording.
S. Agarwala
Emerson is excellent, better in my mind than the recordings of these pieces by the Budapest, Hungarian, Amadeus, Juilliard or Takacs Quartets.
madamemusico
I also read that they'd like to enjoy hearing these recordings someday, without worrying...could we have done it better?
Micaloneus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on October 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This set divides opinion sharply, and I expect to satisfy nobody by sitting on the fence, as I honestly must. One criticism I have not noticed is that the Emersons take anything too slowly. My own impression, after taking my time over this set and playing a selection of alternatives, is that while they are generally fairly swift in allegros and prestos and don't dawdle over andantes and allegrettos, there are only 3 cases where their velocity seems likely to raise many eyebrows, namely the fugue in the 3rd Razumovsky and the outer movements of the F minor. I find them more or less exemplary in the first 10 quartets, Razumovsky fugue perhaps excepted. That accounts for 10 out of 16 (or 17 if the Grosse Fuge counts separately), which is not bad going at all. There is even one movement, the danza tedesca from op130, which is actually too slow for me.

One touchstone for how you are going to like or dislike this set comes with the very first phrase of the very first quartet. For some reason the first 3 quartets are given in the order 3,1,2, but I played them in their numeric sequence. The florid ornamental phrase at the start of the first quartet gave Beethoven trouble, and the Emersons despatch it with a gliding offhand ease that sets the scene for much else. Their technique is no doubt exceptional, but no quartet of technical slouches gets near a recording studio these days nor has done since the war, and the difference is only marginal. In the 60's there were a number of east European quartets with a particular affinity for Beethoven, and I own a selection of these.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By madamemusico on September 8, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The wide disparity of opinions here made me want to hear this set and decide for myself. I have done do. My verdict is that it is an excellent survey of Beethoven's sixteen quartets.

Emerson purveys an ensemble sound with strong contrapuntal clarity. In a way, they are much like the legendary Budapest String Quartet of the 1930s and `40s; and, if any readers of this review have done research, they will discover that Budapest's Beethoven and Mozart quartets, when they first appeared, elicited strong reactions that are remarkably similar to what Emerson has received here.

This is a quartet that has spent years studying, restudying, analyzing and working out there approach to these quartets. So much is obvious from the listening experience. To dismiss them as glib or inexpressive is to do them a great disservice. While it is true that ensemble richness and unified bowing are principal concerns, ignoring the composer's directions is not what they do. On the contrary, anyone who studies these scores will discover that Emerson comes very close to everything that Beethoven directed.

Their performances of the early quartets are without peer. You may, of course, prefer the Takacs, Alban Berg or Tokyo Quartets if you wish, but none of those ensembles have as strong a spirit of joie-de-vivre heard here. It's obvious to me that Emerson tried very hard to strike a balance between studied precision and spontaneous enthusiasm. I like their energetic approach as much as I prefer Artur Schnabel's energetic approach to the early sonatas better than anyone else's.

In the middle quartets, their tempi are very brisk, but a point-by-point comparison with the superb Tokyo Quartet recordings of these works reveals similar detailing.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on June 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After listening to the Beethoven String Quartet cycle I wonder from where most of the negative comments regarding the Emersons come. These are both exciting to listen to and are technically and artistically sound. I won't say, however, that this Emerson String Quartet's production will be to everyone's liking. It is as usual a virtuoso performance performed a bit faster than others.

The quibble over tempo is just that. Some prefer a more upbeat tempo to a slower syrupy one. Both, however, can be well within the tempo markings of the piece. I do not find any of these quartets overly fast but I do find many other versions to be performed overly slow. If your "preferred style" is to have each note stretched out in order to savor the experience then I suggest you look elsewhere. At the price, most of us cannot afford to have several renditions sitting in our libraries.

Because of the vitrium displayed by some reviewers over this set as well as nearly every other Emerson CD sold by Amazon, I obtained copies of several versions of specific late quartets that other reviewers have recommended. I did like the Quartetto Italiano and Takacs as well. Putting this version below The Lindsays, however, may only show that the vitrium against the Emersons is actually most likely directed toward Deutschegrammophone and their high priced offerings.

For me, this album brings back the Beethoven I imagined. Fierce, fiery, tempestuous, and in your face.

I highly recommend this album even at the relatively steep price here. I also highly recommend that you listen to some of these side by side with other interpretations if possible. You may prefer the other more traditional interpretations. But if you have listened to other Emerson recordings and found you like their style, you won't be disappointed with these.
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