Beethoven’s Early Quartets

In its current issue (Nov/Dec 2006), the American Record Guide provides an overview of Beethoven quartet recordings and lists their editors’ top picks. As we have introduced several digital music collections in the past week, today we will explore which of Beethoven’s early quartets are accessable from the library’s digital and physical collections.

The Classical Music Library features all six op. 18 quartets as recorded by the New Budapest Quartet for Hyperion Records. This week’s CIM Library featured playlist includes these recordings.

The Naxos Music Library features the Kodaly Quartet’s interpretation of op. 18, no. 1-6. The ARG article observes that “Tempos are relaxed, tone is warm and sweet, sound is pleasant, and they play expressively, with plenty of feeling–though they are never intense or gripping.”

Listen to the Kodaly recordings via the Naxos Music Library:

The following recordings are among the American Record Guide’s top picks (CIM CD numbers are indicated):

  • Alban Berg Quartet (EMI Classics) – Cdc 2712, Cdc 2713
  • Guarneri Quartet (BMG) – Cdc 625
  • Tokyo String Quartet (RCA Victor) – CDc 2868
  • Italiano String Quartet
  • Borodin String Quartet
  • Kodaly String Quartet

What is your perspective of these recordings?

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