Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Up to 70% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now
 
Or
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.

More Options
Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets
 
See larger image
 

Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets

24 Jun. 2009 | Format: MP3

£46.89 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £59.33 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
Provided by Amazon EU Sàrl. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations. Complete your purchase of the CD album to save the MP3 version to your Amazon music library.
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
9:02
30
2
9:43
30
3
3:24
30
4
6:45
30
5
7:33
30
6
6:12
30
7
4:32
30
8
5:32
Disc 2
30
1
7:28
30
2
7:57
30
3
2:58
30
4
6:29
30
5
8:28
30
6
7:29
30
7
3:30
30
8
4:14
Disc 3
30
1
6:58
30
2
4:45
30
3
9:48
30
4
6:59
30
5
6:02
30
6
7:05
30
7
3:18
30
8
7:53
Disc 4
30
1
10:33
30
2
9:24
30
3
12:48
30
4
8:24
Disc 5
30
1
14:43
30
2
12:49
30
3
6:20
30
4
5:35
30
5
10:47
30
6
8:58
30
7
5:14
30
8
5:58
Disc 6
30
1
9:52
30
2
9:15
30
3
5:09
30
4
6:42
30
5
4:35
30
6
6:59
30
7
4:26
30
8
4:50
Disc 7
30
1
6:53
30
2
14:36
30
3
8:31
30
4
7:27
30
5
6:02
30
6
3:06
30
7
0:48
30
8
13:34
30
9
5:22
30
10
1:46
30
11
6:44
Disc 8
30
1
13:23
30
2
2:06
30
3
6:37
30
4
3:39
30
5
6:35
30
6
10:12
30
7
17:17
Disc 9
30
1
9:46
30
2
9:15
30
3
16:39
30
4
2:21
30
5
6:56
30
6
6:49
30
7
3:22
30
8
7:27
30
9
7:02
Your Amazon Music account is currently associated with a different marketplace. To enjoy Prime Music, go to Your Music Library and transfer your account to Amazon.co.uk (UK).
  

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 24 Jun. 2009
  • Release Date: 24 Jun. 2009
  • Number of Discs: 9
  • Label: FoghornClassics.com
  • Copyright: (c) 2009 FoghornClassics.com
  • Total Length: 8:41:40
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002RCRVRE
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,209 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Russ on 3 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I've listened to and loved these quartets for over 40 years and have most of the recordings ever made of them. I'm particularly obsessed by the late quartets and despite loving several other recordings believe this version by the Alexander Quartet to be one of the finest. No other set has given me as much overall pleasure. I suspect that is in part due the excellent sound of the recording which has presence, body, amazing clarity and perfect balance. I had not previously heard of the Alexander Quartet so these are a wonderful discovery and an overwhelming experience to listen to.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alastair Whitelaw, Glasgow, Scotland on 25 April 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One approaches a new recording of familiar repertory perhaps with a little trepidation: after all, there are plenty of other recordings of this music including several distinguished ones at lower price so how will a new one stand up? Well, there's always room for a new one if it's as good as this. The Alexander Quartet's Beethoven cycle has been beautifully recorded, every nuance caught. This set is among the best I've heard and I get a lot of pleasure listening to it. The players understand the character of the music so well, from the "con brio" aspect of the earlier quartets through to the exploration in the late ones. There are lots of lovely touches - tone never forced; quieter passages crystal clear; and they minimise vibrato on plucked notes which as a result sound as clean as a bell (in some other performances, the pizzicato is too twangy for my taste). A further bonus is that the Alexander members play here on a set of modern instruments made specifically to be used as a quartet. What a wonderful gesture, supporting a modern craftsman.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Unbelievable!!! 13 Jan. 2010
By Musiclover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As anyone who has heard them knows, these guys are as good as it gets. When Professor Greenberg recommended this set in his The Teaching Company course, "The String Quartets of Beethoven" (also outstanding by the way), I purchased them right away and expected great things. Somehow, they are beyond even those expectations. To start with, they use a quartet of extraordinary instruments on this particular set, the "Ellen M. Egger Quartet of Instruments" crafted by Francis Kuttner. I'm not kidding you when I say that just listening to the sound of these instruments is worth the price of admission alone. They sound that good. There's a small booklet included in the set that describes and explains them so I won't go into that here. The Alexander String Quartet does not own these instruments by the way, they're part of a "trust" of some kind and are loaned out for various purposes, this time for this recording. And, how great they sound is perfectly obvious because the quality of sound in this series of recordings is likewise fabulous - FABULOUS!! I would describe it as "nearly realistic". I don't say that lightly, I freely admit that I am a complete, total sound snob with a ridiculously expensive sound system, the components of which were slowly, painfully selected over many many years solely for the purpose of listening to just this kind of music. The quality of the sound of these recordings is unusual. Now, if the performances were merely good, that alone would be more than enough justification to buy these even if you already have several sets of Beethoven Quartets. But the playing is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!! I can not imagine anyone who cares about this music not falling in love with these performances. They have that "inevitable" quality that great performances have. Everything fits together perfectly and effortlessly. Everything works; makes sense; is compelling, compelled-by-the-music compelling. The intonation is flawless. The dynamics are breathtaking (and correct based on following along in the score - don't laugh, its far from always the case!). And, best of all, one has that experience of insight that happens with the finest performances. One hears things, or perhaps recognizes or understands things, never heard before. I guess what's going on is something like this: great music is, of course, always something much greater than the sum of its parts. Everything going on works together resulting in some kind of greater organic whole. When the music is this great, the better it's performed, the more music emerges. That in itself is obvious but my point is, even after you're hearing everything being played, there can be even more music if its played still better. That might be a defining characteristic of classical music (jazz too). A good example of this is Artur Schnabel or Richard Goode playing Beethoven and Schubert. Maybe that can go on forever in the case of Beethoven's String Quartets I don't know but in any case, these guys get way WAY up there. So between the rare combination of great performances and sound I can honestly say that out of many thousands of classical recordings, these are already among a small set of my very favorites. If you're looking for a set of Beethoven String Quartets, this is it. Even if you're not, buy them anyway because you will be delighted with them. They are unbelievable.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Updated info 19 Dec. 2009
By J Fetter - Published on Amazon.com
********* Update *********

The way these recordings are listed is very confusing so I'll try to explain whats going on.

The Alexander String Quartet released a set of Beethoven's complete string quartets some time ago (Late 90's early 2000s?) which is no longer available. It was on Arte Nova's label and features a boat on the front.

Just recently (2009) they totally re-recorded the entire String Quartet catalog of Beethoven on the Foghorn Classics label. This newer version has the 4 members on the cover holding their instruments.

For some reason Amazon is saying that this version won't be released until January 2010, even though it's already out.

The confusing part is that I'm not sure which version Amazon is selling on the "Buy Mp3" page. It appears they have a separate listing for both new and old versions, but when you try to buy the mp3s of either, they direct you to the same page. I have a feeling these mp3s are from the old version, so buyers may want to err on the side of caution and just buy the physical box set.

For anyone wondering, I bought the newer Foghorn set in Fall '09 from The Great Courses (The Teaching Company) for $50.
For those REALLY into Beethoven, the teaching company also has a whole series of lectures on Beethoven's Quartets which features this newer version recording done by the Alexander String Quartet. (If memory serves something like 16 hours of lecture. They are very in depth, and done extremely well)

The sound quality and performance on this newer version is nothing short of superb. (I can't attest to the older version)
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Ah, the bliss!!! 2 Jun. 2010
By Daniel Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to this set for about a week now, alternating with selected excerpts from sets performed by the Alban Berg Quartett, the Emerson String Quartet, the Takacs Quartet, and the Vegh Quartet (mono). These sets have risen to the top of my preferred performances of these works for various reasons. Now, I'm happy to add, this new set of performances by the Alexander String Quartet proudly joins their ranks (the earlier Alexander set, while good, never quite achieved the same level of performance to my ears). The instruments produce a gorgeous tone, exquisitely captured by the recording. And what delightful interpretations, with dancelike melodies interspersed with mournful, haunting passages. I began in the middle with the op. 59 performances and found them fluid, forceful, sprightly, and lyrical as appropriate. Then I moved to the op. 18 selections and then to the latter quartets. Velvet tones brought out hushed, lyrical movements. Fleet, dancing rhythms were very accurate. Darker tones brought out the edgy quality that is sometimes lacking in more sedate renditions. I "connected" with all the interpretations, which captured the various moods very well. This is very difficult for such a large body of diverse music, and is the main reason I place this new set alongside the few I mentioned at the beginning of the review. All of these sets provide different but convincing interpretations from the early works to the last one. I recommend them all, but any one of them would be an excellent choice, including this one, which has already brought me many hours of contented listening.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Savettage 12 Dec. 2010
By MinnesotaMind - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These versions of the quartets are absolute gems. I own both the Takacs and the Quartetto Italiano; while I love both of those sets for different reasons (Takacs muscular play, QI's pure beauty of sound and tone), these renditions by the Alexander String Quartet are my new favorite. First of all, I agree with the previous reviewer who said that these CDs might be the best sounding music he owns. I literally can't wait to pop the CDs into my stereo or listen on my iPod with my new Sennheiser headphones. The sound of the quartets is crystal clear, layered, and smooth. While the Takacs sound, though digital, can sometimes sound harsh or sort of "crackly," the Alexander's digital sound is simply gorgeous. The playing here is flawless and the interpretations, pretty straight. In terms of pace, they're faster than the very sumptuously slow QI, and either the same, or a little slower than the Takacs, I haven't checked running times. You can't go wrong here. Thanks to the previous reviewers for drawing my attention to this amazing set.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
a stellar Beethoven quartet cycle *addendum 2015* 18 Nov. 2012
By jsa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After having owned the Alban Berg Quartet Beethoven cycle for a long time (Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets), I decided to look at alternatives. After considerable research, I decided on the Alexander Quartet's set, even though I was unfamiliar with this ensemble and the Foghorn label under which they record. I was most influenced by a long, well thought out review by Michael Cookson on the musicweb site, from which the following quote is derived:

"To summarise: the ASQ provide a most natural feel to their interpretations. I admired their splendidly matched phrasing together with an intuitive grasp of structure. The dynamics are rarely overstated and their choice of tempi feels just right. The exceptionally clear and dry sound is closely caught. I loved the quite exceptional essays from musicologist Eric Bromberger. These add appeal to the overall presentation. The ASQ can take considerable credit from these superb interpretations. Their dedication and insight has paid off as this set is one of the very finest available. The Takács on Decca are now no longer clear first choice in the catalogue. This Foghorn set is unquestionably one of my 'Records of the Year' for 2009."

While there are already plenty of reviews here on amazon, one more endorsement is in order. Most significantly, since purchasing the Alexander Quartet cycle 18 months ago I find myself rarely listening to the Alban Berg Quartet's recordings. The logic and beauty of the Alexander's conceptions are completely convincing, and the sonics are spectacular.

Five stars.

2015 ADDENDUM:

I acquired the Quartetto Italiano's legendary Beethoven cycle some time after have written this review, and found myself drifting away from the Alexander Quartet's recordings, just as I had drifted away from the Alban Berg Quartet's cycle after listening to the Alexander's. This is not just enthusiasm over something new or different. As much as I found to admire in the ASQ's recordings at the time, they've been firmly replaced by the QI's for a number of reasons. Mostly, the QI found just the right place between classicism and modernism - a 1960's outlook that has endured the test of time - whereas the ASQ exhibit a little too much preoccupation with technical perfection, a trait they share with nearly all modern ensembles. The Quartetto Italiano's readings are, simply put, warmer, and more humane. In the end I would rather have more of the music and this is what you get with the QI.

In view of this, I've changed my rating to four stars.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know

Look for similar items by category