BEETHOVEN: EARLY AND MID­DLE QUAR­TETS Wi­han Quar­tet

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Musicreviews - Nim­bus Al­liance NI 6105 (Early Quar­tets; 2 CDs); NI 6109 (Late Quar­tets; 3 CDs)

Th­ese two sets com­plete the CD is­sue of the Wi­han Quar­tet’s com­plete Beethoven quar­tet cy­cle, recorded at con­certs given in the Con­vent of St Agnes in Prague in the 2007-08 sea­son. As in the set of late quar­tets, which was the first to be is­sued, the sense of the live oc­ca­sion is strong, and the im­me­di­acy of the mo­ment is in­ten­si­fied by the for­ward bal­ance of the record­ings. The mode is mostly ex­tro­vert, mean­ing that the pro­found slow move­ments of the early quar­tets are not al­ways ideally served. But there’s a fresh­ness to the play­ing which of­ten com­pen­sates for mo­men­tary fail­ings. www.wya­s­tone.co.uk

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