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Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 1 Hybrid SACD - DSD

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, April 30, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

During the past 10 years, Quartetto di Cremona has matured into a string quartet of international renown. The musical style of the quartet is marked by a fruitful tension between Italian and German-Austrian influences. The players naturally unite both poles, combining boisterous enthusiasm with a distinct sense for musical architecture.

Product Details

  • Conductor: --
  • Composer: Beethoven
  • Audio CD (April 30, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Audite
  • ASIN: B00A6SPTSY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,430 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 27, 2013
Format: MP3 Music
What a brilliant idea to start what is announced as the beginning of a complete traversal of Beethoven's string quartets with a program that includes one quartet each from his early, middle and late periods. So often these complete sets clump the Op. 18s together, do the middle quartets together and then end with the late quartets. This has its value, of course, but for listening to a CD of quartets in one sitting it is more rewarding, I feel, to mix up the opus numbers. It is also rewarding that this program is being played by the Quartetto di Cremona, a fairly young group that bids fair to succeed the hallowed Quartetto Italiano as the premier Italian string quartet. The Quartetto Italiano's recording of the complete Beethovens was, and remains, a treasure. Beethoven: Complete String Quartets The Quartetto di Cremona was formed ten years ago by students from the Cremonese conservatory, the Accademia Walter Stauffer. Of course, Cremona is sacred ground for string players as it was the home of Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati among othes. All the instruments played by the Quartet are Cremonese in origin, including a Guarneri and a Guadagnini. The quartet has been mentored by Piero Farulli, the long-time violist of the Quartetto Italiano, and by Hatto Beyerle, violist of the Alban Berg Quartet.

The CD opens with the last of the Op. 18 quartets, No. 6. This is the most dramatic of these post-Haydnesque quartets at least partly because of the dramatic last movement, 'La Malinconia'. Often, though, Op. 18, No. 6 is played of a piece with all the other Op. 18s and yet it has always seemed to me that is looks to the future and is more boldly expressive than the others.
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Format: Audio CD
This ensemble is literally bringing Beethoven's quartets to life. Listening to these recordings - part of a series that will include all the quartets by Ludwig Van - you can appreciate not only the great skills of the musicians, but an overall vision of the composer's evolution. Beautiful tone, timing and dynamics are just part of a consistent view of the music, where details and global perspective are inextricably linked. In my opinion the Quartetto di Cremona has achieved the musical awareness of the best ensembles of the past (whose recordings were often of poor quality). The clear and natural sound of these CDs make sure that the listeners don't miss a breath of the range of emotions generated by this performance.
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This first release in a planned complete Beethoven cycle is a marvelous start. The works were selected across his stylistic 'periods' and highlight the structural integrity, emotional richness, humor and profundity of the works. The vintage instruments sound wonderful and the recorded sound is open and well-blended. This quartet plays with intense commitment and with great respect for the scores. I will listen to them (among my dozens of recordings) with pleasure and await the rest of their output. This is a group to be watched (aka listened to).
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