Beethoven - Late String Quartets

Nimbus: NI6100

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Beethoven - Late String Quartets



Catalogue No:






Release date:

23rd Feb 2009




3 hours 11 minutes


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Beethoven - Late String Quartets


String Quartet No. 12 in E flat major, Op. 127

String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131

String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130

Grosse Fuge in B flat major, Op. 133

String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132

String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135

CD - 3 discs


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The Wihan Quartet, formed in 1985, are heirs to the great Czech musical tradition. The Quartet’s outstanding reputation for the interpretation of its native Czech heritage and of the many classical, romantic and modern masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire is widely acknowledged. They have developed an impressive international career, which includes visits to major festivals in Europe and the Far East. They visit the United States and Japan regularly and have had highly acclaimed tours of Australia and New Zealand. They are frequent visitors to the UK and can often be heard on BBC Radio 3 as well as in concert at many venues throughout the country.

‘Nimbus Alliance’ is a new classical record label created to offer international distribution to recordings licensed to Nimbus but not originated by the company. Nimbus Alliance will consider projects from new artists trying to find a home for recordings they have made privately or from mature artists who find that their back catalogue is no longer available due to changing fashion or industry mergers. All releases will be managed through the existing export, mail-order, download, synchronisation and retail channels of Wyastone Estate Limited and stock will be coordinated and manufactured at the companies’ facilities in Monmouth, UK and New Jersey, USA. The basic terms of a Nimbus Alliance contract are that rights in the recording remain with the artist who licenses the master to Nimbus on a fixed term and for a share of net profits. Each project will exist as a separate entity so that artists will enjoy the benefit of Nimbus’s global sales organisation whilst also being free to develop their own individual brand identity within the Nimbus Alliance family. Nimbus Alliance was officially launched on 25th January 2009 at the Wigmore Hall, London where the Wihan Quartet performed to a capacity audience. Just two weeks earlier the agreement was signed between Nimbus Alliance and the quartet and this release was designed, printed, manufactured and packaged in time to be on sale at the concert.

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 127

I Maestoso. Allegro

II Adagio ma non troppo e molto cantabile

II. Scherzando vivace

IV Finale

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

I Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo

II Allegro molto vivace

III Allegro moderato

IV Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile

V Presto

VI Adagio quasi un poco andante

VII Allegro

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130

I Adagio ma non troppo-Allegro

II Presto

III Andante con moto, ma non troppo

IV Alla danza tedesca. Allegro assai

V Cavatina. Adagio molto espressivo

Ludwig van Beethoven: Grosse Fuge in B-flat major, Op. 133

Grosse Fuge in B-flat major, Op. 133

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132

I Assai sostenuto-Allegro

II Allegretto ma non tanto

III Molto adagio (Heileger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit in der lydischen Tonart)

IV Alla Marcia, assai vivace

V Allegro appassionato

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in F major, Op. 135

I Allegretto

II Vivace

III Lento assai e cantante tranquillo

IV Grave-Allegro-Grave ma nontroppo tratto-Allegro

Gramophone Magazine

June 2009

“Op 131 is particularly successful, its success embodied in the variations that comprise of the fourth movement Andante ma non troppo. Here interpretative insight, ensemble expertise and fine dynamic shading come together most convincingly.”

Sunday Times

Stephen Pettitt

26th April 2009

“These are richly rewarding readings of Beethoven’s late quartets, recorded live in Prague, the Wihan Quartet’s home city, last year. The group makes a meaty, full sound, and their vision of each work carries with it the insight of long, deep mutual experience — the quartet’s personnel has, unusually, remained consistent for more than two decades. The slow movements are at the heart of their performances. The 19-minute molto adagio of Op 132 in A minor is achingly intense and beautifully controlled, and here asks all the right questions. We’re promised the middle and early quartets before the year is out. I can’t wait.”

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