Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Cleveland Quartet
"Beethoven: String Quartets op. 18 no. 4, 5" (CD)

I played a movement of op. 18 no. 4 a few weeks ago as part of a summer music festival.  As usual, when it comes to Beethoven string quartets, these are my go-to recordings.  (That may be because they're the only recordings on my iPod, but we won't trifle with the details.)

Bill Preucil has logged some of the most impressive, effortless sounding performances I've ever heard.  I've had the privilege of performing with him in a performance of Mozart's fourth violin concerto and his ability to make these notes sound so weightless and buoyant is amazing.

This entire cycle of Beethoven's string quartets I regard to be amongst the best.  By the time the Cleveland Quartet recorded them, the ensemble was a well-oiled, well-rehearsed machine very comfortable in its own skin.  While their cycle recorded with Weilerstein (and Martha Strongin-Katz) is also important, I'll always have an affectation for this particular incarnation.

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