Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 8 Quartetto di Cremona
- Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827): String Quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3:
- 1I. Allegro07:56
- 2II. Andante con Moto08:23
- 3III. Allegro03:12
- 4IV. Presto06:10
- String Quartet in E-Flat Major No. 10, Op. 74 "Harp Quartet":
- 5I. Poco adagio - Allegro09:32
- 6II. Adagio ma non troppo09:14
- 7III. Presto05:10
- 8IV. Allegretto con variazioni06:45
Info for Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 8
A successful conclusion: completion of the eight-part Beethoven edition with the Quartetto di Cremona: The Quartetto di Cremona has spent over three years working on its recording series comprising all twenty string quartets as well as the two string quintets by Ludwig van Beethoven - a gigantic project which most ensembles tackle at a more advanced age. However, the Quartetto di Cremona, founded in 2000, wanted to experience it sooner - their leader, Cristiano Gualco, explains that "each Beethoven quartet is so distinct and tells a different story. When one has played all the quartets, not only does one really know Beethoven, but doing so also sharpens the mind for all music after him. For everyone has studied Beethoven."
The audite Beethoven cycle, with its exciting blend of spirit, precision and sense of sound - the Quartetto di Cremona's trademark - has its finger on the pulse: the success was so immediate that, following the first volumes, concert halls across Europe and the US invited the ensemble to perform: in many quarters their recordings enjoy reference status. Thanks to studying Beethoven so thoroughly, the ensemble's broad repertoire has gained a new level of intensity and their playing culture has been honed even further, both in terms of detailed expression and of overarching gestures and contours.
The final volume of the edition opens with the third of the Op. 18 Quartets with which Beethoven introduced himself as a composer in 1800 - six quartets which indeed all tell their own "story". From the tentative beginning, cautiously drawing the listener in, through to the tempestuous concluding tarantella, every bar of the Quartet in D major is replete and carefully considered. Beethoven's debut quartet is contrasted with the so-called "Harp" Quartet, Op. 74, featuring yet another formal solution. A cunningly conceived first movement with prominent plucked "harp notes" is answered by the finale, where Beethoven reuses a (discarded) number from his incidental music to Goethe's freedom drama Egmont as a theme and variations - a clear indication of the fact that the composer, in 1809, at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, lived through politically precarious times.
Quartetto di Cremona
Quartetto di Cremona
Internationally renowned for their "extremely mature and lyrical sound" (Strad), the Quartetto di Cremona now graces the stages of the most prestigious venues. Their focus and intensity brings life to music from the “tight blend and immaculate voicing” of their Brahms to the “sleek and elegant” dynamic countouring of their Mozart (Strad). The Quartetto di Cremona’s dedication to their work as a string quartet shows through their music.
The Quartetto di Cremona formed in 2000 at the Stauffer Academy in Cremona and continued their studies with Hatto Beyerle. In 2005 the Quartetto di Cremona received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship.
Building on their early successes, the Quartetto di Cremona has played to critical acclaim at the most important venues and festivals in Europe including at the Beethoven Haus and BeethovenFest Bonn, Konzerthaus (Berlin), Klara Festival (Brussels), Mecklenberg Vorpommen Music Festival, Båstad Chamber Music Festival, Turku Music Festival, Handelsbeurs (Gent), Moving on Music Festival (Northern Ireland, recorded by BBC Radio 3), and numerous performances at the Wigmore Hall (London).
The Quartetto di Cremona has toured extensively in Australia and performed at the renowned Perth International Art Festival Australia. In the USA, they recently won the eleventh Web Concert Hall Competition and they will perform at Metropolitan Museum in March 2013.
In their homeland of Italy they have made their name performing at the Accademia di S. Cecilia in Rome and at the most renowned Italian music societies. The Quartet was nominated "Artist in Residence" at the Societa' del Quartetto of Milan and will be involved in various projects culminating in 2014 for the 150th anniversary of the Societa' del Quartetto – when they will perform the complete cycle of Beethoven quartets.
Recent and forthcoming tours include engagements in the USA, Japan, Mexico and China and in Europe the Quartetto di Cremona will tour the UK, Italy, Scandinavia, Germany, and make a debut tour of Austria.
Their extensive repertoire ranges from the early Haydn quartets to Wolfgang Rihm and Helmut Lachenmann, with particular interest in contemporary Italian music including the composers Fabio Vacchi, Luciano Berio and Luigi Nono.
Their debut recording for Decca encompassed the complete string quartets by Fabio Vacchi, released in April 2011. From July 2012 over the next two seasons the Quartetto di Cremona will record the complete Beethoven String Quartets for the German label Audite, which also issued Italian Journey, dedicated to Italian composers in November 2012.
An important part of the Quartetto di Cremona’s activity is teaching master classes throughout Europe. Since Autumn 2011, the Quartet has taught at the Walter Stauffer Academy in Cremona.
The Quartetto di Cremona has been chosen as a testimonial of the International project "Friends of Stradivari".