Beethoven: Complete String Quartets

Beethoven: Complete String Quartets

by Quartetto Italiano



If beauty is truth and truth beauty, then the Quartetto Italiano's late-'60s, early-'70s cycle of the complete Beethoven string quartets is possibly the most truthful cycle ever recorded because it is certainly the most beautiful cycle ever recorded. No quartet has ever played with such consummate beauty of tone, such ideal intonation, and such superb ensemble as the Quartetto Italiano. In the most strenuous passages, in the most awkward, in the most excruciating passages, the Italiano is always and everywhere transcendentally beautiful. The "early" quartets bring out all the high-Classical poise and elegance of the works, expressing the strong emotions of the young Beethoven in performances of graceful beauty. The "middle" quartets are powerfully muscular and as powerfully intellectual, balancing the heart and mind of the mature Beethoven in performances of exquisite beauty. The "late" quartets are deeply emotional and profoundly spiritual, transcending the duality of heart and mind in the sublime beauty of the interpretations. And Philips' stereo sound is nearly as beautiful as the Italiano's tone and certainly as truthful as any recording could possibly be in capturing the greatness of these interpretations. One of the two or three greatest sets of the Beethoven quartets ever recorded.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/16/1997
Label: Philips
UPC: 0028945406220
catalogNumber: 454062


  1. String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 18/1
  2. String Quartet No. 2 in G major ("Compliments"), Op. 18/2
  3. String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18/3
  4. String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18/4
  5. String Quartet No. 5 in A major, Op. 18/5
  6. String Quartet No. 6 in B flat major, Op. 18/6
  7. String Quartet No. 7 in F major ("Rasumovsky 1"), Op. 59/1
  8. String Quartet No. 8 in E minor ("Rasumovsky 2"), Op. 59/2
  9. String Quartet No. 11 in F minor ("Serioso"), Op. 95
  10. String Quartet No. 9 in C major ("Rasumovsky 3"), Op. 59/3
  11. String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major ("Harp"), Op. 74
  12. String Quartet No. 12 in E flat major, Op. 127
  13. String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135
  14. String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130
  15. Fugue for string quartet in B flat major ("Grosse Fuge"), Op. 133
  16. String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131
  17. String Quartet No. 15 in A minor ("Heiliger Dankgesang"), Op. 132

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