HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Philips) Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartets Op. 131 (Quartetto Italiano)

A great great “THANK YOU” to our friend Jean-Luc for this gift

In the late quartets Beethoven continued to evolve many of his compositional techniques: he manages to add to the harmonic rules of before and does new things in the way of tonality and form. These quartets have a sound world all of their own, and create a small-scale effect quite different from the massive-sounding works that came before, such as the “Hammerklavier” sonata and the 9th Symphony. It would be fair to say that no other artist has ever mangaged to reach such spiritual heights. The Quartetto Italiano give superbly polished performances which are able to express the refined tones of these works. Compare their well-rehearsed renditions that come close to perfection with the more ruffled recordings of the Vegh Quartet, for example, and one really appreciates the way in which they are able to sustain the superhuman requirements of these pieces. With the Vegh team we hear 4 human beings, with these recordings we hear Beethoven’s unique vision.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Quartetto Italiano
Vinyl 1969
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis: DR 15
Size: 1.64 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

The “middle period” quartets (op. 59, 74, 95) shows Beethoven at his most “Heroic” style composing broad, sweeping, and increasing complex part writing – so much that the fickle Viennese audiences used to Haydn’s and Mozart’s classical style were not quite sure what to think of them.

Even more abstract to audiences (outside Beethoven’s quartet friends) were the late works (Op. 127, 130-135) which progress to totally new ideas, sounds and organization. These included unusual, frequent and unexpected shifts in dynamics, tempo and key modulations. But most historic was an intangible emotive quality Beethoven introduced to music which might be termed “spirituality.” What is most amazing is that these musical revolutions all were developed when in Bethoven’s final years lived in a state of sadness, illness, deafness and isolation. Yet, having a lifetime of notes and music in his head, his composing skills were not limited at all by this deafness but perhaps even more focused. With their highly evolutionary form and spiritual nature, the late quartets are in a category of their own and have provoked many an analysis as to their meaning and connection to Beethoven’s final years.

The Quartetto Italiano show why they were a legendary quartet in the 60’s and 70’s with a remarkable performance of great depth here. Complementing them is a vibrant Philips recording in spite of its 60’s heritage. The sound is very good. Their playing is masterful, dramatic and probing – all while maintaining their characteristic smooth and emotive style that has endeared them for generations.


  Streichquartett Nr. 14 CIS – Moll Op. 131
A1 Adagio Ma Non Troppo E Molto Espressivo
A2 Allegro Molto Vivace
A3 Allegro Moderato
A4 Andante Ma Non Troppo E Molto Cantabile – Piu Mosso – Andante Moderato E Lusinghiero – Adagio – Allegretto – Adagio, Ma Non Troppo E Semplice – Allegretto  
B1 Presto
B2 Adagio Quasi Un Poco Andante
B3 Allegro  

Analyzed Folder: /192k LvB – String Quartet Op. 131 (Quartetto Italiano)
DR Peak RMS Filename

DR13 -4.44 dB -24.29 dB A1 String Quartet In C Sharp Minor, Op.131 – 1. Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo.flac
DR14 -0.65 dB -21.09 dB A2 String Quartet In C Sharp Minor, Op.131 – 2. Allegro molto vivace.flac
DR15 -5.97 dB -25.96 dB A3 String Quartet In C Sharp Minor, Op.131 – 3. Allegro moderato.flac
DR18 -1.30 dB -25.28 dB A4 String Quartet In C Sharp Minor, Op.131 – 4. Andante Man Non Troppo E Molto Cantabile – Piu’ Mosso – Andante Moderato E Lusinghiero – Adagio – Allegretto – Adagio Ma Non Troppe E Semplice – Allegretto.flac
DR17 -0.55 dB -23.10 dB B1 String Quartet In C Sharp Minor, Op.131 – 5. Presto.flac
DR12 -9.35 dB -28.48 dB B2 String Quartet In C Sharp Minor, Op.131 – 6. Adagio quasi un poco andante.flac
DR14 -1.69 dB -20.18 dB B3 String Quartet In C Sharp Minor, Op.131 – 7. Allegro.flac

Number of Files: 7
Official DR Value: DR15


Ripping Info


  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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