Beethoven: Late String Quartets

The Busch Quartet cut to the heart of Beethoven's late masterpieces

Beethoven late

Busch Quartet (1930s) EMI 509 6552

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It’s nearly 80 years since the Busch Quartet made their legendary recordings of Beethoven’s Late String Quartets, and it’s frequently stated that they have never been bettered.

With justification: there’s an extraordinary lack of self-advertisement in the playing, a sense of complete immersion in the composer’s intentions that is totally compelling.

These aren’t ‘interpretations’ as such, or even ‘performances’ in the modern sense – more acts of communion mediated by the amazingly self-effacing artists doing the playing. The sound is 1930s mono, but potently communicative.

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