Beethoven: String Quartets (2 CD, APE)
Beethoven: String Quartets (2 CD, APE)

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Takacs Quartet
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (tracks)
Label: Decca
Size: 642 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

# String Quartet No. 7 in F major (“Rasumovsky 1”), Op. 59/1
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
with Takacs String Quartet

# String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major (“Harp”), Op. 74
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
with Takacs String Quartet

# String Quartet No. 8 in E minor (“Rasumovsky 2”), Op. 59/2
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
with Takacs String Quartet

# String Quartet No. 9 in C major (“Rasumovsky 3”), Op. 59/3
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
with Takacs String Quartet

simply faultless – and interesting as well!

I play in an amateur string quartet and recently we’ve been working on Op. 59/1. BBC3’s CD review picked the Takacs a couple of weeks ago as best for the Op. 95 ‘Serioso’ Quartet, so I bought this 2-CD set with the Rasumovskys expecting it to be good, and it sure is! Each player is an individual and all are interesting (lovely viola playing, for example), but the ensemble and the extent to which the performances have been thought-through are just as impressive. Some of the work is really virtuosic (how does the first violin, Edward Dusinberre, manage the ornamental passage-work at the end of the first movement of Op. 74 at that hair-raising speed?) but quiet and lyrical moments are just as impressive and the slow movements of all four quartets are really lovely. No wonder this Quartet has won so many plaudits. At this ridiculously small price*, these two CDs are a real bargain (there’s a good multi-language booklet with them and useful notes by Misha Donat). If this is music you like, no need to hesitate! I see ‘The Gramophone’ Classical CD Guide rates it right at the top too.

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