Guarneri String Quartet - The Late Quartets (Beethoven)   (3-RCA 60458)
Item# S0246
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Guarneri String Quartet - The Late Quartets (Beethoven)   (3-RCA 60458)
S0246. GUARNERI STRING QUARTET (Steinhardt, Dalley, Tree & Soyer): The Late Quartets (Beethoven). 3-RCA 60458, recorded 1968 & 1969, w.37pp. Brochure. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 090266045822


“The Guarneri Quartet’s solid and stable renditions should certainly satisfy those who prefer their Beethoven straight, no chaser. There’s little that’s extroverted and certainly nothing extravagant about the ensemble’s traversal of these works – just consistently rich string tone, tasteful phrasing, intelligence, and impeccable musicianship, all in service of the music. Tradition reigns in these readings, with slower tempos in the early Op. 18 quartets imparting an old-fashioned ‘classical’ feel. In the late quartets the Guarneri players keep their distance from Beethoven’s elevated, occasionally ponderous rhetoric, preferring a lighter touch. Note the gracefulness that informs Op. 130, where the musicians make clear their preference for Beethoven’s shorter revised finale (the Grosse Fuge appears on a separate disc).

That’s not to say the Guarneri skimps on substance; there’s intensity aplenty in Op. 131 (listen to the sublime Andante), and the slow movement of Op. 135 registers with the requisite gravity.”

- Victor Carr Jr,