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Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 132 & 135 / Penderecki String Quartet

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 15 in A minor ("Heiliger Dankgesang"), Op. 132
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Globe and Mail
Formed in 1986, the Penderecki String Quartet began their career as winners of the Penderecki Prize at the National Chamber Music Competition in Poland. Now based in Waterloo, Ontario where they have been Quartet-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University since 1991, The Penderecki String Quartet has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of their generation. The four Penderecki musicians (now originating from Poland, Canada, and USA) bring their varied yet collective experience to create performances that demonstrate their "remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep.

The quartets on this disc are among Beethoven's final utterances on the string quartet. Op. 132 traverses a spiritual development from near-despair to a triumphant finale. In the middle is perhaps the greatest of all of Beethoven's adagios, the `holy song of thanksgiving. A cheery march leads to a finale, culminating in a super-joyful coda - a thrilling conclusion to a mighty story.

Op. 135, written very near the end of his life, is another matter. Two of its four ovements seem hardly serious at all - the first quite jocular, the second (scherzo) even more. But the third is indeed altogether sublime - sweet, thoughtful, poignant to the last possible degree. And the finale opens with a question, indicated by Beethoven himself: `Must it be?` - and answers "It Must Be!" Coming from a man as near death as Beethoven then was, that is an amazing testament to his indomitable spirit, and remains so to this day.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Wilfrid Laurier Univers (12/12/2011-12/15/2011).



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 15 in A minor ("Heiliger Dankgesang"), Op. 132
  • Notes: Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Wilfrid Laurier University (12/12/2011-12/15/2011)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1825

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135
  • Notes: Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Wilfrid Laurier University (12/12/2011-12/15/2011)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1826