Beethoven: Late String Quartets / Brodsky Quartet

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The late quartets are among the last works that Beethoven completed, and are considered by many as the pinnacle of his achievements as a composer, and among the greatest compositions of all time. The Russian prince Nikolai Galitzin wrote to Beethoven in November 1822, requesting ‘one, two or three new quartets, for which labor I will be glad to pay you what you think proper’. This commission resulted in the Quartets, Opp. 127, 132, and 130, after which he went on to write Quartets, Opp. 131 and 135,and then the substitute final movement for Op. 130, which replaced the Große Fugue that originally had ended that piece –and which Stravinsky described as ‘an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever’. In this recording the Brodsky Quartet has chosen to include (emulating several other quartets) the Quartet,Op.95. Although this piece significantly pre-dates the others, in terms of innovation and compositional style it points strongly towards the later works. Since their formation in 1972, the Brodsky Quartet has earned –and maintained –a worldwide reputation for excellence and innovation. Exclusive Chandos recording artists, the Brodsky Quartet has won numerous awards and accolades, and remains committed to an extensive programme of educational work in addition to their hectic performing and recording schedules.



The Brodsky Quartet certainly have their own distinctive virtues, and the highlights reach very high indeed. Technically, these performances are immaculate, so it all comes down to a question of personal taste. To me, the account of the A minor Quartet Op. 132 is the outstanding interpretation here with its serene Adagio, the Heiliger Dankgesang, taken as slowly as anyone could dare, and the intensity of its finale ratcheted up with perfect sureness. As in any cycle of these inexhaustible works, everyone has to pick and choose what they admire, but there is no doubting that these performances of some of the greatest music ever written are to be taken seriously.

– Guardian (Andrew Clements) - 1/2020

Product Description:

  • Release Date: January 03, 2020

  • Catalog Number: CHAN 20114(3)

  • UPC: 095115211427

  • Label: Chandos

  • Number of Discs: 3