Monday, January 07, 2013

Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 127 & Op. 131

"'A Late Quartet' has an important point to make about classical music. For the musicians who play it, especially intimate chamber works in which the group members have to think, feel and breathe as one, their instruments are vehicles for conveying strong emotion. Without passion, a performance, no matter how impeccable, is just a technical feat. In concert, high-strung artists must put aside their disagreements to work toward a common goal of seamless unity. The paradoxical drives for individual self-expression and for group harmony — along with questions of who will lead and who will follow — are a profound theme that resonates, especially in this year of savage electioneering. The film’s musical centerpiece, Beethoven’s Quartet in C sharp minor (Op. 131), is a tumultuous 40-minute string quartet whose seven movements are to be played without a pause. The ravishing version heard in the film belongs to the Brentano String Quartet, whose recording is piercingly intense" (Stephen Holden, "The Strings Play On; The Bonds Tear Apart," New York Times, 11/1/12).

View catalog record here!


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