Beethoven - Fugues and Rarities for String Quartet | Naxos 8574051

Beethoven - Fugues and Rarities for String Quartet


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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8574051

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 24th January 2020



The string quartets of Beethoven are among the greatest works of their kind, but he composed other works for quartet which have been neglected. This album is dedicated to these intriguing rarities. Alongside the wild and monumental Grosse Fuge, in many ways the culmination of Beethoven’s achievements in the string quartet genre, this recording further displays his mastery of counterpoint by bringing to light brilliant yet forgotten original versions of his quartets op.18 no.1 and op.131, plus six virtually unknown miniatures, including his Preludes and Fugues.

This fascinating programme brings together gems of string quartet writing by Beethoven, works overshadowed by the numbered string quartets and therefore, aside from the Grosse Fuge, extreme rarities on recordings. Innumerable fans of Beethoven’s string quartets will be keen to acquire what has turned out to be far more than a mere supplement to his more famous opus numbers in this genre.

The Fine Arts Quartet, ‘one of the gold-plated names in chamber music’ (Washington Post), ranks among the most distinguished ensembles in chamber music today, with an illustrious history of performing success and an extensive legacy of over 200 recorded works. Many of the Quartet’s latest releases have been selected for inclusion on Grammy Awards entry lists in the categories ‘Best Classical Album’ and/or ‘Best Chamber Music Performance’ and have received multiple awards and distinctions, among them Gramophone Award winner and ‘recording of legendary status’ (Gramophone Classical Music Guide) and many more. Their recordings for Naxos include works by Bruckner (8570788) considered ‘self-recommending’ by, and ‘splendid in ensemble and rich and smooth in tone… surely at the top of the list of currently available recordings of the music’ by the American Record Guide. Their recordings if Mendelssohn’s String Quintets (8570488) and Glazunov’s chamber music (8570256) were named ‘Recordings of the Year’ by MusicWeb International, and their recording of Schumann’s String Quartets (8570151) was hailed by the American Record Guide as ‘one of the very finest chamber music recordings of the year’.

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