Beethoven String Quartets Op.130 si bémol majeur & Op.133 (Grande Fugue)

Beethoven String Quartets Op.130 si bémol majeur & Op.133 (Grande Fugue)

Release Date: 16/05/2011


String Quartet No.5 in A Major Op.18 No.5

I. Allegro

II. Menuetto & Trio

III. Andante cantabile

IV. Allegro


String Quartet No.3 in D Major Op.18 No.3

I. Allegro

II. Andante con moto

III. Allegro

IV. Presto


String Quartet No.16 in F major 'Muss es sein? es muss sein!' Op.135

I. Allegretto

II. Vivace

III. Lento assai e cantante tranquillo

IV. Grave ma non troppo tratto - Allegro








With this release of two early quartets and his last completed quartet, the Artemis Quartet rounds off its Beethoven cycle for Virgin Classics. “His music speaks to every era,” they say, “It is a perfect dialogue between tradition and modernity, and between intellectual refinement and raw emotion,”

Beethoven’s extraordinary musical evolution is traced in the cycle, which remains the touchstone of the quartet repertoire. The Artemis’ passionate engagement with the composer’s music was summarised by Die Zeit: “An ensemble that, when compared to groups on a similar level of perfection, seems to approach the repertoire from another horizon. Many quartets convey an air in their playing of rarefied workmanship and detached refinement from the world. They explore the music within the notes. The members of the Artemis come as people who live life, and life is what they seek in Beethoven too.”

Reviews of previous releases in the cycle have noted the Artemis Quartet’s capacity to capture each mood of each work, for instance:

Op 127: “The Artemis Quartet cellist Eckart Runge believes Beethoven was, in relation to his era, ‘the most modern, provocative, experimental and boldest composer of all’, who used the string quartet for innovative experimentation. Which explains the Artemis Quartet's modernist approach in this, the sixth release in their complete Beethoven cycle: there's an astringent, dramatic quality to the playing, which is most effective in the String Quartet No 12, making light work of the change in the second movement from lachrymose introversion to something akin to a jaunty dance, and back into bleakness again two minutes later – an almost bipolar swing which they negotiate with ease.” The Independent

Op 18 No 4: “The players evoke the audacity and assurance of the young Beethoven …Particularly enjoyable is the way in which, in the Scherzo second movement, the instrumental parts cascade after each other before coming to rest, as in a holding pool, then continuing on their course, a babbling brook headed happily for the sea.” The Independent

Grosse Fuge: “The Artemis throw themselves into the abyss, intoxicated with danger and daring, outstripping their rivals in other quartets … This is Beethoven, not as the figure of legend, walled in and isolated by deafness, but succeeding in achieving the ultimate feat of gaining freedom from himself, surpassing his own limits.” Télérama





30 April 2019