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Beethoven: The Late String Quartets / Takács Quartet

Audio Samples

  1. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 12 in E Flat Major, Op. 127: I. Maestoso - Allegro $1.29 on iTunes
  2. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 12 in E Flat Major, Op. 127: II. Adagio ma non troppo e molto cantabile
  3. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 12 in E Flat Major, Op. 127: III. Scherzando vivace $1.29 on iTunes
  4. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 12 in E Flat Major, Op. 127: IV. Finale $1.29 on iTunes
  5. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131: I. Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo $1.29 on iTunes
  6. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131: II. Allegro molto vivace $1.29 on iTunes
  7. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131: III. Allegro moderato $1.29 on iTunes
  8. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131: IV. Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile - Più mosso - Andante Moderato e Lusinghiero - Adagio -
  9. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131: V. Presto $1.29 on iTunes
  10. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131: VI. Adagio quasi un poco andante $1.29 on iTunes
  11. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131: VII. Allegro $1.29 on iTunes
  12. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132: I. Assai sostenuto - Allegro $1.29 on iTunes
  13. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132: II. Allegro ma non tanto $1.29 on iTunes
  14. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132: III. Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenden an die Gottheit, in Der lydischen Tonart. Molto adagio - Andante
  15. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132: IV. Alla marcia, assai vivace - Più Allegro - Presto $1.29 on iTunes
  16. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132: V. Allegro appassionato $1.29 on iTunes
  17. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135: I. Allegretto $1.29 on iTunes
  18. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135: II. Vivace $1.29 on iTunes
  19. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135: III. Lento assai, cantante e tranquillo $1.29 on iTunes
  20. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135: IV. Der schwer gefaßte Entschluß (Grave - Allegro - Grave ma non troppo tratto - Allegro) $1.29 on iTunes
  21. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 95, "Serioso": I. Allegro con brio $1.29 on iTunes
  22. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 95, "Serioso": II. Allegretto ma non troppo $1.29 on iTunes
  23. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 95, "Serioso": III. Allegro assai vivace ma serioso $1.29 on iTunes
  24. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 95, "Serioso": IV. Larghetto espressivo - Allegretto agitato $1.29 on iTunes
  25. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat Major, Op. 130: I. Adagio ma non troppo - Allegro
  26. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat Major, Op. 130: II. Presto $1.29 on iTunes
  27. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat Major, Op. 130: III. Andante con moto ma non troppo - Poco scherzando $1.29 on iTunes
  28. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat Major, Op. 130: IV. Alla danza tedesca (Allegro assai) $1.29 on iTunes
  29. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat Major, Op. 130: V. Cavatina (Adagio molto espressivo) $1.29 on iTunes
  30. Beethoven — Grosse Fuge in B Flat Major, Op. 133: Overtura (Allegro) - Meno mosso e moderato - Allegro - Fuga
  31. Beethoven — String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat Major, Op. 130: VI. Finale (Allegro) $1.29 on iTunes

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 12 in E flat major, Op. 127
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131
>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
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 11 in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso"
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Grosse Fuge for String Quartet in B flat major Op. 133
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"The Takacs might play this repertoire better than any quartet of the past or present. What ultimately sets the Takacs apart is its ability to define the essential character in the Beethoven quartets, in which an enormous array of emotions, moods and compositional challenges are encapsulated." - The Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Guardian
It is impossible to exaggerate the beauty of the tone-colours that these four musicians achieve... If late Beethoven is the Holy Grail of quartet playing, then the Takács Quartet has found it

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Interpreters of the late quartets have to convey what at times sounds like a stream of musical consciousness while respecting the many written markings. The Takács do better than most. For openers, they had access to the new Henle Edition and have made use of some textual changes - nothing too drastic but encouraging evidence of a good musical conscience. In Op 130 they take the long first-movement exposition repeat, using the Grosse Fuge as the rightful finale (Beethoven's original intention) which, in the context of their fiery reading of the fugue, works well.

Contemporary incredulity at the sheer scale and complexity of the fugue caused Beethoven to offer a simpler alternative finale, in which they again play the repeat, which helps balance the 'alternative' structure. The Takács evidently appreciate this music both as musical argument and as sound. Try their glassy sul ponticello at the end of Op 131's Scherzo, or the many instances where plucked and bowed passages are fastidiously balanced.

Attenuated inflections are honoured virtually to the letter, textures carefully differentiated, musical pauses intuitively well-timed and inner voices nearly always transparent. This set completes one of the best available Beethoven quartet cycles, possibly the finest in an already rich digital market, more probing than the pristine Emersons or Alban Bergs (live), more refined than the gutsy and persuasive Lindsays, and less consciously stylised than the Juilliards (and always with the historic Busch Quartet as an essential reference).



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 12 in E flat major, Op. 127
  • Ensemble: Takács String Quartet
  • Notes: St George's, Bristol, England (11/17/2003-11/20/2003)
  • Running Time: 34 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1823-1824

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131
  • Ensemble: Takács String Quartet
  • Notes: St George's, Bristol, England (11/17/2003-11/20/2003)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1826

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 15 in A minor ("Heiliger Dankgesang"), Op. 132
  • Ensemble: Takács String Quartet
  • Notes: St George's, Bristol, England (11/17/2003-11/20/2003)
  • Running Time: 42 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1825

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 16 in F major, Op. 135
  • Ensemble: Takács String Quartet
  • Notes: St George's, Bristol, England (11/17/2003-11/20/2003)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1826

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 11 in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso"
  • Ensemble: Takács String Quartet
  • Notes: St George's, Bristol, England (11/17/2003-11/20/2003)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1810

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130
  • Ensemble: Takács String Quartet
  • Notes: St George's, Bristol, England (11/17/2003-11/20/2003)
  • Running Time: 42 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1825-1826

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Grosse Fuge for String Quartet in B flat major Op. 133
  • Ensemble: Takács String Quartet
  • Notes: St George's, Bristol, England (11/17/2003-11/20/2003)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1825

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Quartet for Strings no 13 in B flat major, Op. 130
  • Notes: St George's, Bristol, England (11/17/2003-11/20/2003)
  • Running Time: 42 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1825-1826