Album: Artemis Quartet, Beethoven: String Quartets No 1 & No 12 (Virgin Classics)

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The Independent Culture

The Artemis Quartet cellist Eckart Runge believes Beethoven was, in relation to his era, "the most modern, provocative, experimental and boldest composer of all", who used the string quartet for innovative experimentation.

Which explains the Artemis Quartet's modernist approach in this, the sixth release in their complete Beethoven cycle: there's an astringent, dramatic quality to the playing, which is most effective in the "String Quartet No 12 in E flat major", making light work of the change in the second movement from lachrymose introversion to something akin to a jaunty dance, and back into bleakness again two minutes later - an almost bipolar swing which they negotiate with ease.

DOWNLOAD THIS String Quartet No 12 in E flat major

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