BEETHOVEN: LATE QUAR­TETS; QUAR­TET IN F MI­NOR OP 95

Busch String Quar­tet EMI Great Record­ings of the Cen­tury 509 6552 (3 CDs)

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - MICHAEL DER­VAN

This set con­tains what is widely re­garded as the first great sur­vey of Beethoven’s five late string quar­tets on disc, recorded by the Busch Quar­tet be­tween 1933 and 1941. The play­ing has mo­ments that seem un­tidy by the stan­dards of to­day’s stu­dio record­ings, but the flaws are neg­li­gi­ble in the face of mu­sic-mak­ing that seems to strip away ex­tra­ne­ous ges­tures and get right to the heart of the mat­ter in a way that’s at once plain and pro­found. This set in­cludes Felix Wein­gart­ner’s string orches­tra ar­range­ment of the Grosse Fuge from the Busch Cham­ber Play­ers (the quar­tet’s leader, Adolf Busch, was also a pi­o­neer in the world of cham­ber orches­tras), and the pow­er­fully com­pact Quar­tet in F mi­nor, Op 95. www.emi­clas­sics.com

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