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Piano Quartets


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From the pen of the fifteen-year-old Beethoven, these three piano quartets are among the earliest examples of a chamber music genre that would not reach full maturity until the time of Brahms. Beethoven' path-breaking essays stand beside those of Mozar

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Forgotten Beethoven Rediscovered... June 28 2009
By B.E.F. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Forgotten Beethoven Rediscovered...
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In approaching these rarely-heard gems, it would be well to suppress any subtle prejudice against "juvenilia," and simply appreciate the works for what they are: early blossoms of incipient genius.
There is some very fine music here which stands on its own merit: for here we have neither Haydn nor Mozart, but Beethoven himself--albeit youthful.
This is one of the points J.W.N. Sullivan draws in his fine little tome of Beethoven's Spiritual Development: that Beethoven's organic growth of nous and psyche continued unabated throughout his life in tandem with the evolution of his art.
(In a naturalistic simile, we may consider the nautilus' shell which begins in a tight spiral and continuously unfolds following the lines of its design.)
Beethoven: His Spiritual Development
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The Piano Quartets WoO 36 date from 1785, and were found amongst Beethoven's papers after his death.
The works already feature Beethoven's tendency towards expansive breath of expression, vigourous manner, and innate good taste.

This nice recording displays the Quartets in their original compositional sequence, beginning with No. 3 in C-major which opens with a lively Allegro vivace, moving to an echt-Beethovenian characteristically dreamy Adagio con espressione, and concluding with a rustic Rondo.

No. 1 begins with a lovely Adagio which segues into an impassioned Allegro con spirito, concluding with a Cantabile theme and VI variations.
In examination of the text, Barry Cooper discerns from the orthography, "One cannot help suspecting that, even at the age of fourteen, Beethoven was technically a more advanced pianist than Mozart."
Cooper further notes characteristics of Beethoven in the dramatic dynamic range (pp to ff ) and the gravitas engendered by the use of the bizarre key of eb-minor in the Allegro--(a key Beethoven would have encountered from his study of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier).
Here we have Beethoven already breaking out of the Classical mould in seeking his Romantic inner-vision.

No. 2 begins with an affirmative Allegro which quietly peters out, giving way to a pathetic Andante and a concluding spirited Rondo--by turns both graceful and humorous.
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Complete Beethoven Edition, Vol. 14: Misc. Chamber Works
The Glenn Gould Edition - Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Good enough April 23 2010
By KenOC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The attraction here is Beethoven's music, of course. Those interested in the early music of this extraordinary composer will certainly enjoy this disc. Mr. Dubin's review is quite accurate so I'll keep this short. If you listen to this music, you're likely to say, "Hey, this is first-class stuff. How come it's not better known?"

If you enjoy music in the classical style, you will certainly enjoy this. Regardless of Mr. Dubin's comments on intonation, I thank the New Zealand Piano Quartet for bringing us these gems.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Pleasantly surprised Jan. 19 2013
By Shoe Lust - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was my first time hearing New Zealand Piano quartet. Although there wasn't much of a variety in their interpretations from piece to piece, the performances were clear and musical and happy to hear. Then again, it was ALL one composer so it makes sense for things to start sounding the same half way through it if one listens to the cd in it's entirety. Lovely work by the musicians.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A "must have" for everyone's collection.. Oct. 22 2014
By Cmarie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An outstanding performance. 5 star rating CD


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