Amadeus Quartet / Hagen Quartett / Mendelssohn String Quartet

Beethoven: Early String Quartets

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Not only does this volume of Deutsche Grammophon's 1997 Beethoven edition contain what are arguably the best recordings of Beethoven's early string quartets ever made, it contains what are arguably the best recordings of all Beethoven's early works for string quartets. That is, this volume includes the Amadeus Quartet's 1961 recordings of the Op. 18, the lyrical, dramatic, and sometimes even epic set of six quartets Beethoven composed in his late twenties in the freshest, most natural, and most noble set of recordings of them ever made. But the set also includes the Amadeus' lovely 1969 recording of Beethoven's transcription of his Piano Sonata, Op. 14/1, the Hagen Quartett's brilliant 1997 recording of Beethoven's original version of the first of the Op. 18 quartets, the Hagen's superb 1997 recording of Beethoven's sublimely simple Menuett for string quartet, and even the Mendelssohn Quartet's 1996 recording of the two perfectly acceptable Prelude and Fugues for string quartet that Beethoven wrote as composition exercises. DG's remastered sound is so good that you can hardly tell the difference between the 1961 and the 1997 recordings.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
String Quartet in F major (arrangement of Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14/1), Hess 34
1
7:08
2
3:35
3
3:38
Prelude and Fugue at the octave, for string quartet, in F major, Hess 30
4
3:38
5
3:23
Prelude and Fugue at the tenth, for string quartet, in C major, Hess 31
6
2:24
7
2:43
String Quartet in F major, Hess 32
8
9:15
9
8:32
10
3:15
11
6:32
12
1:20
13
2:32
blue highlight denotes track pick