Beethoven: String Quartets Opp. 127 & 131

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: White Label
WORKS: String Quartets Opp. 127 & 131
PERFORMER: Bartók Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: HRC 125 ADD (1989)
According to the insert-notes Beethoven’s late quartets ‘smash… the traditional frames with the awesome energy of a protuberance’. The performances, though well regarded in some quarters, hardly live up to the implications of this; the playing may be admirably pure in tone, but, for instance, several of the crucial harmonic changes are rather ironed out. Perhaps it’s over-familiarity on the players’ part, but these readings don’t plumb the depths of such sublime masterpieces. Keith Potter

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