Suk Quartet, Karel Špelina

Beethoven: String Quintets, Opp 4 & 104

Catalogue Number: SU 3447-2
Published: 12th August 1999
Genre: Chamber Music
A special addition to Supraphon's release schedule is this reissue of Beethoven's String Quintets. It is coming out as a result of a book by Vikram Seth entitled An Equal Music. It is on the best-seller lists in Canada and in the U.K. and this recordingis specifically mentioned in the book. There have been a log of requests for a reissue and Supraphon obliges. Beethoven was the most famous composer of his time and as such, his works were freely arranged and adapted by a numbeer people, most of them probably without the composer's knowledge. Beethoven tried to fight against this "piracy" by arranging some of his own works himself. The Quintet op. 104 is an arrangement of his Piano Trio in C minor op. 1/3. As far as is known, it was made by an amateur and Beethoven was asked to approve it. Instead Beethoven thoroughly reworked the arrangement. The situation with the Quintet Op. 4 was quite different. This was based on a much older work, the Octet for Two Oboes, Two Clarinets, Two Bassoons and TwoFrench Horns. Here Beethoven did more than arrange- he used the same thematic material, but otherwise he completely reworked the piece. The works are performed by the Suk Quartet formed in 1968 by members of the Czech Philharmonic. Their repertoire included for the most part works, which were not often performed or were being unjustly overlooked. For this recording, they we joined by their colleague from the orchestra, the violist Karel Špelina (shpeh-li-nuh).
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 4
1. Allegro con brio 10:36
2. Andante 07:58
3. Menuetto piu Allegretto 06:47
4. Finale. Presto 06:02
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quintet in C minor, Op. 104
5. Allegro con brio 09:46
6. Andante cantabile con variazioni 07:47
7. Menuetto. Quasi allegro 04:00
8. Finale. Prestissimo 08:30