A complete recording of Beethoven's string quartets, made by the Smetana Quartet for Nippon Columbia. The first release beyond Japan, it contains a voucher for download in Hi-Res 24 bit/192 kHz.
Ludwig van Beethoven - String Quartets: Op. 18 Nos. 1-6 (F major, G major, D major, C minor, A major, B flat major); Op. 59 Nos. 1-3, "Razumovsky" (F major, E minor, C major); in E flat major, Op. 74; in D minor, Op. 95, "Serioso"; in E flat major, Op. 127; in B flat major, Op. 130; The Great Fugue, Op. 133; in C sharp minor, Op. 131; in A minor, Op. 132; in F major, Op. 135; in F major, Hess 34 (an arrangement based on Piano Sonata in F major, Op. 14/1)
Smetana Quartet: Jiří Novák - first violin, Lubomír Kostecký - second violin, Milan Škampa - viola, Antonín Kohout - cello
The Smetana Quartet are a true legend. For over four decades (1945-1989), the ensemble gained critical acclaim and enthused audiences all over world, particularly in the UK, USA and Japan. They attained perfect chime and extraordinary flexibility in voice leading, resulting in part from their playing the entire repertoire by heart. The quartet performed Beethoven's works throughout their existence - following Smetana, he was the composer on whose music they focused the most and whose complete quartets were in their repertoire from 1974 onwards. They explored some of Beethoven's pieces for several years before including them in their concert programmes. In collaboration with a Supraphon team, in 1978 the ensemble embarked upon a colossal project, which in 1985 came to fruition with the release on Nippon Columbia of a recording of the complete Beethoven string quartets. Even though the past decade has seen significant changes pertaining to interpretation and technology, the Smetana Quartet's account of Beethoven's works is by no means a "museum exhibit", with their vivacity and dynamism still enthralling today's listeners. The recording, carefully digitally remastered from the original analogue tapes, is the very first release beyond Japan. Lovers of perfect sound are afforded the opportunity to listen to it Hi-Res 24 bit/192 kHz.
Beethoven according to the legendary Smetana Quartet. The first worldwide release.
“Here we also have Beethoven's own quartet transcription of his Piano Sonata Op 14 No. 1, perceptively performed, as everything else in the set. If you find Quatuor Ébene just a little too immediate and full-on, then the Smetana's blend of poise and passion should prove ideal (though the Harp's Presto is a virtuoso tour de force).” Gramophone, November 2020
“This is just glorious, fabulous, marvellous music making… These are as great as it gets in the Beethoven quartet's playing of amazing energy and rhythmic aptitude and gorgeous balance and flawless intonation and just great emotional intelligence and intensity… Just fantastic. You can enjoy every bar of every quartet.” ClassicsToday.com, July 2021