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Belcea Quartet|Quatuors à cordes, Divertimenti

Quatuors à cordes, Divertimenti

Benjamin Britten

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Due to the profundity of Beethoven's late string quartets and the significance composers and critics have placed on them, few modern string quartets have been regarded as masterpieces on the same level. Bartók's, yes, and Shostakovich's, but almost no other set of twentieth century quartets has been similarly elevated. It is almost axiomatic, then, that Benjamin Britten's three string quartets have not received comparable recognition or reverence, because these bright, transparent works deny most expectations of the genre. If Britten looked to past models, then Haydn seems reflected in the String Quartet No. 1 in D, Op. 25 (1941), Purcell in the String Quartet No. 2 in C, Op. 36 (1945), and perhaps Mahler in the late String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94 (1975); nowhere, though, is Beethoven the model, and deliberately profound utterances are few in Britten's highly lyrical, energetic, and effervescent works. They may be regarded as a tonic for anyone overwhelmed by the sheer weight and gravity of the quartet repertoire; the shimmering performances by the Belcea Quartet also help lighten the mood. Even though there are some passages that touch the emotions with austere beauty, the ensemble's cool tone, bright timbres, and impeccably clean execution keep the music out of the shade of darker moods and passions. EMI's sound is fine.
© TiVo

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Quatuors à cordes, Divertimenti

Belcea Quartet

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String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op 25 (Benjamin Britten)

1
String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25: I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro vivo
00:09:07

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

2
String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25: II. Allegro con slancio
00:03:00

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

3
String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25: III. Andante calmo
00:10:24

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

4
String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25: IV. Molto vivace
00:03:51

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

String Quartet No.2 in C Major, Op 36 (Benjamin Britten)

5
String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36: I. Allegro calmo senza rigore
00:09:26

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

6
String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36: II. Vivace
00:03:29

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

7
String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36: III. Chacony
00:18:51

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

DISC 2

String Quartet No. 3, Op 94 (Benjamin Britten)

1
String Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Op. 94: I. Duets
00:05:34

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

2
String Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Op. 94: II. Ostinato
00:03:10

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

3
String Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Op. 94: III. Solo
00:05:36

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

4
String Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Op. 94: IV. Burlesque
00:02:20

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

5
String Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Op. 94: V. Recitative and Passacaglia
00:09:11

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

Three Divertimenti for String Quartet (Benjamin Britten)

6
3 Divertimenti: No. 1, March
00:03:36

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

7
3 Divertimenti: No. 2, Waltz
00:03:16

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

8
3 Divertimenti: No. 3, Burlesque
00:03:37

Benjamin Britten, Composer - Belcea Quartet, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics release, © 2005 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics release, ℗ 2005 Parlophone Records Limited

Album Description

Due to the profundity of Beethoven's late string quartets and the significance composers and critics have placed on them, few modern string quartets have been regarded as masterpieces on the same level. Bartók's, yes, and Shostakovich's, but almost no other set of twentieth century quartets has been similarly elevated. It is almost axiomatic, then, that Benjamin Britten's three string quartets have not received comparable recognition or reverence, because these bright, transparent works deny most expectations of the genre. If Britten looked to past models, then Haydn seems reflected in the String Quartet No. 1 in D, Op. 25 (1941), Purcell in the String Quartet No. 2 in C, Op. 36 (1945), and perhaps Mahler in the late String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94 (1975); nowhere, though, is Beethoven the model, and deliberately profound utterances are few in Britten's highly lyrical, energetic, and effervescent works. They may be regarded as a tonic for anyone overwhelmed by the sheer weight and gravity of the quartet repertoire; the shimmering performances by the Belcea Quartet also help lighten the mood. Even though there are some passages that touch the emotions with austere beauty, the ensemble's cool tone, bright timbres, and impeccably clean execution keep the music out of the shade of darker moods and passions. EMI's sound is fine.
© TiVo

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