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Belcea Quartet|Ludwig van Beethoven : The Complete String Quartets (Intégrale des quatuors à cordes), Vol. 2

Ludwig van Beethoven : The Complete String Quartets (Intégrale des quatuors à cordes), Vol. 2

Belcea Quartet

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Because the Belcea Quartet has divided the string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven between two box sets, and arranged them so that early, middle, and late works appear in each volume, newcomers to this music may find the program a bit arbitrary and slightly complicated. Undoubtedly, the Belcea wants listeners to approach these landmark works with new ears, and to prevent the expectations that come with time-honored groupings. Hearing the three "Razumovsky" quartets played together, for example, or the Grosse Fuge with its original parent work, Op. 130, listeners might lose that most essential feature in Beethoven, the element of surprise. And the Belcea is quite good at surprises. The group takes pains to articulate the quartets in unpredictable ways, giving each part a strong character, accentuating passages that are often smoothed over, and providing an edginess that maintains suspense. Tempos are on the brisk side, and the string tone is sometimes brusque and even rough, with a kind of grit that is almost harsh. The tension is at its most pronounced in the Grosse Fuge, which is played with a manic frenzy that tangles the counterpoint to the point of incomprehensibility and makes the work unnecessarily grotesque. However, this is an extreme case, and the remaining works are played with less aggressiveness and more humanity. By far the loveliest playing is in the slow movements, particularly in the tender Cavatina of Op. 130, and the sublime Lento assai of Op. 135. Still, taken as a whole, the Belcea's interpretations are bracing and vigorous by most standards, and listeners should sample this set extensively before purchasing.
© TiVo

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Ludwig van Beethoven : The Complete String Quartets (Intégrale des quatuors à cordes), Vol. 2

Belcea Quartet

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String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 18 No. 3 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Allegro
00:07:59

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

2
II. Andante con moto
00:07:41

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

3
III. Allegro
00:03:12

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

4
IV. Presto
00:06:16

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

String Quartet No. 5 in A Major, Op. 18 No. 5 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

5
I. Allegro
00:06:40

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

6
II. Menuetto - Trio
00:04:56

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

7
III. Andante cantabile
00:09:51

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

8
IV. Allegro
00:06:32

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

9
Grosse Fuge for String Quartet in B-Flat Major, Op. 133
00:15:47

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

DISC 2

String Quartet No. 7 in F Major, Op. 59 No. 1 "Razumovsky" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Allegro
00:09:58

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

2
II. Allegro vivace e sempre scherzando
00:09:13

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

3
III. Adagio molto e mesto
00:13:36

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

4
IV. Thème russe. Allegro
00:08:07

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

String Quartet No. 8 in E Minor, Op. 59 No. 2 "Razumovsky" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

5
I. Allegro
00:09:37

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

6
II. Molto adagio
00:13:52

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

7
III. Allegretto
00:06:43

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

8
IV. Finale. Presto
00:05:22

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

DISC 3

String Quartet No. 10 in E-Flat Major, Op. 74 "Harp" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Poco adagio - Allegro
00:09:50

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

2
II. Adagio ma non troppo
00:09:43

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

3
III. Presto
00:04:49

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

4
IV. Allegretto con variazioni
00:07:02

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

String Quartet No. 13 in B-Flat Major, Op. 130 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

5
I. Adagio ma non troppo - Allegro
00:09:29

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

6
II. Presto
00:01:52

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

7
III. Andante con moto, ma non troppo
00:07:12

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

8
IV. Alla danza tedesca, allegro assai
00:03:12

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

9
V. Cavatina, adagio molto espressivo
00:07:18

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

10
VI. Finale. Allegro
00:10:37

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

DISC 4

String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Allegro sostenuto - Allegro
00:09:23

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

2
II. Allegro ma non tanto
00:08:37

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

3
III. Molto adagio
00:19:35

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

4
IV. Alla marcia, assai vivace
00:08:48

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

5
I. Allegretto
00:06:16

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

6
II. Vivace
00:03:10

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

7
III. Lento assai, cantante e tranquillo
00:07:42

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

8
IV. Grave, ma non troppo tratto - Allegro
00:07:30

Quatuor Belcea, Performer - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2013 Outhere Music France 2012 Outhere Music France

Album Description

Because the Belcea Quartet has divided the string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven between two box sets, and arranged them so that early, middle, and late works appear in each volume, newcomers to this music may find the program a bit arbitrary and slightly complicated. Undoubtedly, the Belcea wants listeners to approach these landmark works with new ears, and to prevent the expectations that come with time-honored groupings. Hearing the three "Razumovsky" quartets played together, for example, or the Grosse Fuge with its original parent work, Op. 130, listeners might lose that most essential feature in Beethoven, the element of surprise. And the Belcea is quite good at surprises. The group takes pains to articulate the quartets in unpredictable ways, giving each part a strong character, accentuating passages that are often smoothed over, and providing an edginess that maintains suspense. Tempos are on the brisk side, and the string tone is sometimes brusque and even rough, with a kind of grit that is almost harsh. The tension is at its most pronounced in the Grosse Fuge, which is played with a manic frenzy that tangles the counterpoint to the point of incomprehensibility and makes the work unnecessarily grotesque. However, this is an extreme case, and the remaining works are played with less aggressiveness and more humanity. By far the loveliest playing is in the slow movements, particularly in the tender Cavatina of Op. 130, and the sublime Lento assai of Op. 135. Still, taken as a whole, the Belcea's interpretations are bracing and vigorous by most standards, and listeners should sample this set extensively before purchasing.
© TiVo

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