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The 'Late' String Quartets opp. 127, 130-33, 135

Tokyo String Quartet

Excerpt:Beethoven. The 'Late' Quartets. CD 1 track no.4

The Tokyo String Quartet completes its acclaimed Beethoven cycle with the composer’s valedictory quartets of 1825-26. As he looked ahead to structures and soundworlds then unimagined, and glanced back to the bedrock counterpoint of Western music, Beethoven turned inwards to his well of experience, much of it harsh, from which he drew this music of transcendent power.
‘The Tokyo’s Beethoven is both grounded and weightless, carved in granite and floating on air.’The Boston Globe

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Diapason d'or



String Quartet no.12 op.127 (1824)
in E-flat major / Mi bémol majeur / Es-dur

· I. Maestoso – Allegro (6'33)
· II. Adagio, ma non troppo e molto cantabile (13'41)
· III. Scherzando vivace (8'19)
· IV. Finale (6'55)
String Quartet no.14 op.131
in C-sharp minor / ut dièse mineur / cis-moll

· I. Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo (6'17)
· II. Allegro molto vivace (2'58)
· III. Allegro moderato – Adagio (0'46)
· IV. Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile (13'48)
· V. Presto (5'02)
· VI. Adagio quasi un poco andante (1'56)
· VII. Allegro (6'34)

String Quartet no.13 op.130
in B-flat major / Si bémol majeur / B-dur

· I. Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro (13'04)
· II. Presto (2'03)
· III. Andante con moto ma non troppo (6'59)
· IV. A la danza tedesca. Allegro assai (3'34)
· V. Cavatina. Adagio molto espressivo (6'17)
· Grosse Fuge, op.133 (16'19)
· VI. Finale. Allegro (10'06)

String Quartet no.15 op.132 (1825)
in A minor / la mineur / a-moll

· I. Assai sostenuto – Allegro (9'17)
· II. Allegro ma non tanto (9'10)
· III. Molto adagio (16'04)
· IV. Alla Marcia, assai vivace (2'17)
· V. Allegro appassionato (6'43)
String Quartet no.16 op.135 (1826)
in F major / Fa majeur / F-dur

· I. Allegretto (6'26)
· II. Vivace (3'21)
· III. Lento assai, cantante e tranquillo (6'50)
· IV. Grave ma non troppo tratto – Allegro (6'57)

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