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Beethoven: String Quartets op.18/3,18/5,135 [Hybrid SACD, SACD]

Hagen Quartett Audio CD

Price: £16.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. String Quartet No. 3 in D Major Op. 18/3: I. Allegro 7:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. String Quartet No. 3 in D Major Op. 18/3: II. Andante con moto 7:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. String Quartet No. 3 in D Major Op. 18/3: III. Allegro 3:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. String Quartet No. 3 in D Major Op. 18/3: IV. Presto 6:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. String Quartet No. 5 in A Major Op. 18/5: I. Allegro 7:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. String Quartet No. 5 in A Major Op. 18/5: II. Menuetto 4:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. String Quartet No. 5 in A Major Op. 18/5: III. Andante cantabile10:02Album Only
Listen  8. String Quartet No. 5 in A Major Op. 18/5: IV. Allegro 6:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. String Quartet No. 16 in F Major Op. 135: I. Allegretto 7:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. String Quartet No. 16 in F Major Op. 135: II. Vivace 3:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. String Quartet No. 16 in F Major Op. 135: III. Assai lento, cantante e tranquillo 7:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. String Quartet No. 16 in F Major Op. 135: IV. Der schwer gefaßte Entschluss: Grave, ma non troppo tratto (Muß es sein?) - Allegro (Es muß sein!) 7:27£0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Review

**** perf / **** rec Their virtuosity is up to the skylarks of the second-movement Vivace and the third movement, at the end of which Beethoven dances off into eternity. --Michael Tanner, BBC Music Magazine July 2013

a fine performance ... commanding --Mortimer H. Frank, International Record Review June 2013

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding performance ! 7 Jan 2014
By Peter Flack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Excellent performance reminds me of the performances of the Quartetto Italiano during their reign !
Looking forward to new recordings !
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hagens display virtuosity, sensitivity, and versatility 29 July 2013
By John J. Puccio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Hagens offer on the present album three Beethoven string quartets, an album that illustrates the group's virtuosity, sensitivity, and versatility.

The Hagens begin the program with Beethoven's String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18, which was actually the composer's first string quartet composition, probably written around 1798. This quartet's most salient feature is its second-movement Andante con moto, a piece of music that is not only beautiful in anybody's hands but especially so given the expertise of the Hagens. It flows gently along, and even in its most energetic moments the group keeps the tone relaxed and charming. Another unique aspect of the quartet is a concluding Presto for which Beethoven indicates a speed of some ninety-six beat per minute. That's a heck of a fast pace, and the Hagens try to emulate it while still keeping the tempo as flexible as possible. Remarkably, they never make it appear breathless.

Next is the String Quartet No. 5 in A major, Op. 18, a lighter work than No. 3, with greater lilt. Beethoven patterned it more closely than No 3 on the quartets of Mozart, and the Hagens play it with great felicity. It's delightful in every way, particularly in the Minuetto with its halting rhythms and in the Andante Cantabile with its melancholy overtones.

The disc closes with the last quartet Beethoven ever wrote, No. 16 in F major, Op. 135 from 1826, composed nearly three decades after his first quartet. There is quite a difference in style, with No. 16 being far more creative, inventive, and mature than his previous quartets, more completely "Beethoven" if you will. Here, it is again the slow movement that stands out, one the composer marked "cantante e tranquillo." Beethoven would die shortly thereafter, making it, indeed, his final tranquil song. The Hagens afford it all the sweet peace the music deserves.

Soncially, the stereo spread is very wide, the frequency response a tad bright, the definition excellent, the dynamic range wide, and the perspective big, open, and airy.

A most generous playing time of almost eighty minutes, pretty much the upper limit of a compact disc, puts the icing on the cake.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars *** 1/2 A veteran quartet seems uninvolved and overly efficient in their Beethoven playing 7 Jan 2014
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The product blurb mentions that the Hagen Qt., now a cultural icon in Germany after three decades, took their Beethoven on tour in 2013, and I happened to catch on of their concerts in London, a treat after knowing them only from their recordings. The program included two of the Op. 18 quartets, like this particular CD, and I thoroughly enjoyed their stylish, rather Haydnesque reading - again, as her on this Cd. But as admirable as they are in their musicianship and unanimity, the Hagens remained a bit aloof and efficient. they entered the hall, handled the job, and departed. Were they really interested anymore in Beethoven?

Perhaps, as the Fanfare magazine reviewer surmised, their clipped phrasing and nimble touch showed signs of period performance influences (God hopes not). If you want Op. 18 done as if looking ahead to later Beethoven rather than behind to his classical roots as a young man, the readings of no. 3 (written first of the six quartets in the group, form around the time the composer was 28) and no. 5 are probably not for you. There are passing delights such as the fast, nimble playing in the finale of no. 3, the springy rhythm in the first movement of no. 5, and the nuance brought to the Minuet of no. 5. Few ensembles are this expert and at ease with their virtuosity. I probably stand alone in feeling that the Hagens approach Beethoven (as they have from the beginning on DG) without enough involvement.

If experience and artistry are to count the most, it will happen in the enigmas of Op. 135, which is so much a creature of Beethoven's late style that you can hear everything from eccentricity to genius to the struggles of frustrated deafness. Here I find the Hagens literal and linear. They skirt the problematic nature of the score by turning their backs on it, choosing to make musical choices form bar to bar but without much impact overall. In a work with violent contrasts and shifting moods, they've efficienlty smoothed over the strangeness. so did the Emersons, the first post-modern, stainless steel Beethoven players. At least the Hagens are more circumspect, although it might have helped if they had gone for broke. Efficiency is never very memorable.
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