Quartetto di Cremona / Lawrence Dutton

Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 5

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Since 2013, the Quartetto di Cremona has been issuing all of Ludwig van Beethoven's chamber music for strings on hybrid SACD, and for the fifth volume in the project, the group presents the String Quintet in C major, Op. 29, featuring Lawrence Dutton as the second violist, and the String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, one of Beethoven's greatest achievements. This is a suitable match-up, in terms of key relationships and the expansive nature of their respective forms: the String Quintet begins to approach the length of the late quartets, of which the String Quartet in A minor is one of the longest because of its eighteen-minute Adagio, the famous "Heiliger Dankgesang" movement. The Quartetto di Cremona plays with considerable energy and bravado, and their fast movements are quite exciting for their rhythmic vitality and occasional brusqueness. But the sustained beauty of tone and sublime feeling of their slow movements will repay repeated listening. Audite's recorded sound is clear and full of presence, and every note is audible, despite the high responsiveness of the space.

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