Beethoven: String Quartet in E minor, Op. 59/2; String Quartet in C, Op. 59/3 (Rasumovsky)

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: ASV
WORKS: String Quartet in E minor, Op. 59/2; String Quartet in C, Op. 59/3 (Rasumovsky)
PERFORMER: Lindsay Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 554 DDD (1984)
The three ‘Rasumovsky’ quartets, named for the Russian count who commissioned them, show Beethoven starting to extend the expressive capabilities of the string quartet, to paint with brighter colours on a larger canvas. The Lindsay Quartet plays these pieces with incisive authority and, in the sublime slow movements of the F major and E minor quartets, with a breathtaking tenderness. This level of excellence is not always sustained in the final quartet, though they deliver its closing Allegro molto with roof-raising panache. Curiously, these discs, reissued separately at full price, have also been reissued recently as a mid-price two-disc set (CD DCS 207). Graham Lock

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