BEETHOVEN: The Late String Quartets - Yale String Quartet

BEETHOVEN: The Late String Quartets - Yale String Quartet

NON-MEMBERS PRICE:

$14.99

MEMBERS PRICE:

$7.50

EXPLORING MUSIC: MUST IT BE? by David White

MUST IT BE? by David White

n those early days of my existence, between college and marriage, I became an avid reader – a ravenous one in the pre-marriage and pre-children chapters of my life – and at approximately the same time I started to have a serious career in the sales and marketing side of “the music business”, I also became quite enamored with the writings of Milan Kundera.

 

In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, he writes semi-autobiographically about his musical bond between him and his father, an eminent Czech musicologist and highly respected scholar, particularly regarding the works of Leos Janacek. His father charmingly explained the relationship between the notes in a standard eight-note key – the tonic is the king, the fifth is the queen, the third is the prince (I believe I remember this correctly). The idea of motifs in music and in life is broadly explored throughout, and this is a sublime way of both explaining how a musical composition works (at least a tonal work), and I’ve stolen it to explain it to my son on numerous occasions.

 

Beethoven’s music is a motif about motifs throughout the book, when it returns to the narrator’s relationship with his father. If this were a college theme (which it is starting to sound like), we would be required to discuss how Kundera expertly braids the concept of how our lives are similar to a composer’s work.

 

And this is where I’m headed – as we grow, we change. We listen to music differently – we discover motifs in our own life, as we suddenly hear in music something that we hadn’t heard before.

 

Whatever your opinions are about Kundera’s work, I appreciate his writing for this very truth, and how he introduced me to a greater appreciation of music, and the Beethoven late string quartets.

 

In a discussion about adding this recording to the Review, I was asked which one of Beethoven’s late string quartets I preferred, by someone who had an answer, as if we were discussing some yes or no question. I stammered and said I was always fond of the quartet that had the “Heiliger Dankegesang”, not remembering which one that is…but I also realized I don’t really know them separately. My experience in learning these works came from extended listening, and listening to them as a unit – “binge-listening” to adopt a much used current phrase. I am familiar with each and can place them as an overall work “the Beethoven late string quartets” but I don’t really know which quartet has the Grosse Fuge, I just know when I expect to hear it. 

 

Thus, I suppose is the musical memory of someone who went from CDs to streaming, and skipped the inconvenience of turning over LPs, a process which defines a work in a much more direct fashion. End of Side 2, that’s usually the end of the work. But in my experience, I drift from the conclusion of Op. 130 into the first movement of Op. 131, and I’m not entirely the more knowledgeable for it.

 

Being education through listening only with a bare minimum of scholarly guidance, I didn’t always learn music as a student learns music. I know that can lead me to look uneducated, but that’s fine. I have never stopped listening since Kundera’s words.

 

And so when Kundera’s father, at the end of his life, can only point to “Es muss sein” vigorously, so as to make certain his son understands, we all must choose the music and life have. My musical experience is to swim in an ocean of music, with only a vague understanding of where I am, but only to know that water feels good and is bringing me great happiness.

TRACK LISTING

 

Quartet No. 12 In E Flat Major, Op. 127

  • Maestoso, Allegro
  • Adagio, Ma Non Troppo E Molto Cantabile
  • Scherzo: Vivace
  • Allegro, Allegro Comodo

 

Quartet No. 13 In B Flat, Op. 130

  • Adagio, Non Troppo-Allegro
  • Presto
  • Andante Con Moto, Non Troppo
  • Alla Danza Tedesca-Allegro Assai
  • Cavatina-Adagio Molto Espressivo
  • Finale, Allegro

 


Quartet No. 14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 131

  • Adagio, Ma Non Troppo E Molto Espressivo
  • Allegro Molto Vivace
  • Allegro Moderato
  • Andante, Ma Non Troppo E Molto Cantabile
  • Presto
  • Adagio Quasi Un Poco Andante
  • Allegro

 


Quartet No. 15 In A Minor, Op. 132

  • Allegro Sostenuto-Allegro
  • Allegro Ma Non Tanto
  • Molto Adagio-Sentendo Nuova Forze, Andante
  • Alla Marcia
  • Allegro Appassionato

 

Grosse Fuge in B-Flat Major, Op. 133


Quartet No. 16 In F Major, Op. 135

  • Allegretto
  • Vivace
  • Lento Assai, Cantante E Tranquillo
  • Der Schwer Gefasste Entschluss

 

 

Cello – Aldo Parisot
Viola – David Schwartz, Walter Trampler
Violin [Second] – Yoko Matsuda
Violin, Leader – Broadus Erle
Violin – Syoko Aki

OUR REVIEW

One of the great performances of these works. It gets ignored or barely mentioned in the English magazines, but this is a performance that can hold its own against any in the past 50 years. --DW 

BEETHOVEN: The Late String Quartets - Yale String Quartet

BEETHOVEN: The Late String Quartets - Yale String Quartet

NON-MEMBERS PRICE

$14.99

MEMBERS PRICE

$7.50

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EXPLORING MUSIC

MUST IT BE? by David White

In those early days of my existence, between college and marriage, I became an avid reader – a ravenous one in the pre-marriage and pre-children chapters of my life – and at approximately the same time I started to have a serious career in the sales and marketing side of “the music business”, I also became quite enamored with the writings of Milan Kundera.

 

In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, he writes semi-autobiographically about his musical bond between him and his father, an eminent Czech musicologist and highly respected scholar, particularly regarding the works of Leos Janacek. His father charmingly explained the relationship between the notes in a standard eight-note key – the tonic is the king, the fifth is the queen, the third is the prince (I believe I remember this correctly). The idea of motifs in music and in life is broadly explored throughout, and this is a sublime way of both explaining how a musical composition works (at least a tonal work), and I’ve stolen it to explain it to my son on numerous occasions.

 

Beethoven’s music is a motif about motifs throughout the book, when it returns to the narrator’s relationship with his father. If this were a college theme (which it is starting to sound like), we would be required to discuss how Kundera expertly braids the concept of how our lives are similar to a composer’s work.

 

And this is where I’m headed – as we grow, we change. We listen to music differently – we discover motifs in our own life, as we suddenly hear in music something that we hadn’t heard before.

 

Whatever your opinions are about Kundera’s work, I appreciate his writing for this very truth, and how he introduced me to a greater appreciation of music, and the Beethoven late string quartets.

 

In a discussion about adding this recording to the Review, I was asked which one of Beethoven’s late string quartets I preferred, by someone who had an answer, as if we were discussing some yes or no question. I stammered and said I was always fond of the quartet that had the “Heiliger Dankegesang”, not remembering which one that is…but I also realized I don’t really know them separately. My experience in learning these works came from extended listening, and listening to them as a unit – “binge-listening” to adopt a much used current phrase. I am familiar with each and can place them as an overall work “the Beethoven late string quartets” but I don’t really know which quartet has the Grosse Fuge, I just know when I expect to hear it. 

 

Thus, I suppose is the musical memory of someone who went from CDs to streaming, and skipped the inconvenience of turning over LPs, a process which defines a work in a much more direct fashion. End of Side 2, that’s usually the end of the work. But in my experience, I drift from the conclusion of Op. 130 into the first movement of Op. 131, and I’m not entirely the more knowledgeable for it.

 

Being education through listening only with a bare minimum of scholarly guidance, I didn’t always learn music as a student learns music. I know that can lead me to look uneducated, but that’s fine. I have never stopped listening since Kundera’s words.

 

And so when Kundera’s father, at the end of his life, can only point to “Es muss sein” vigorously, so as to make certain his son understands, we all must choose the music and life have. My musical experience is to swim in an ocean of music, with only a vague understanding of where I am, but only to know that water feels good and is bringing me great happiness.

TRACK LISTING

 

Quartet No. 12 In E Flat Major, Op. 127

  • Maestoso, Allegro
  • Adagio, Ma Non Troppo E Molto Cantabile
  • Scherzo: Vivace
  • Allegro, Allegro Comodo

 

Quartet No. 13 In B Flat, Op. 130

  • Adagio, Non Troppo-Allegro
  • Presto
  • Andante Con Moto, Non Troppo
  • Alla Danza Tedesca-Allegro Assai
  • Cavatina-Adagio Molto Espressivo
  • Finale, Allegro

 


Quartet No. 14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 131

  • Adagio, Ma Non Troppo E Molto Espressivo
  • Allegro Molto Vivace
  • Allegro Moderato
  • Andante, Ma Non Troppo E Molto Cantabile
  • Presto
  • Adagio Quasi Un Poco Andante
  • Allegro

 


Quartet No. 15 In A Minor, Op. 132

  • Allegro Sostenuto-Allegro
  • Allegro Ma Non Tanto
  • Molto Adagio-Sentendo Nuova Forze, Andante
  • Alla Marcia
  • Allegro Appassionato

 

Grosse Fuge in B-Flat Major, Op. 133


Quartet No. 16 In F Major, Op. 135

  • Allegretto
  • Vivace
  • Lento Assai, Cantante E Tranquillo
  • Der Schwer Gefasste Entschluss

 

 

Cello – Aldo Parisot
Viola – David Schwartz, Walter Trampler
Violin [Second] – Yoko Matsuda
Violin, Leader – Broadus Erle
Violin – Syoko Aki

OUR REVIEW

One of the great performances of these works. It gets ignored or barely mentioned in the English magazines, but this is a performance that can hold its own against any in the past 50 years. --DW 

SOUND SAMPLES

QUARTET NO. 13 IN B-FLAT MAJOR, OP. 130 V. CAVATINA

QUARTET NO. 12 IN E-FLAT MAJOR, OP. 127 I. MAESTOSO; ALLEGRO

LINER NOTES