Hyperion Records

String Quartet in C minor, Op 18 No 4
composer
1798/1800

Recordings
'Beethoven: String Quartets Op 18 Nos 3, 4 & 6' (CDA66402)
Beethoven: String Quartets Op 18 Nos 3, 4 & 6
MP3 £4.00FLAC £4.00ALAC £4.00Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66402  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'Beethoven: String Quartets' (CDH55021/8)
Beethoven: String Quartets
MP3 £24.99FLAC £24.99ALAC £24.99 CDH55021/8  8CDs Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Deleted  
Details
Movement 1: Allegro ma non tanto
Track 5 on CDA66402 [9'09] Archive Service
Track 5 on CDH55021/8 CD2 [9'09] 8CDs Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Deleted
Movement 2: Scherzo: Andante scherzoso quasi allegretto
Track 6 on CDA66402 [6'25] Archive Service
Track 6 on CDH55021/8 CD2 [6'25] 8CDs Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Deleted
Movement 3: Menuetto: Allegretto
Track 7 on CDA66402 [4'29] Archive Service
Track 7 on CDH55021/8 CD2 [4'29] 8CDs Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Deleted
Movement 4: Allegro
Track 8 on CDA66402 [4'30] Archive Service
Track 8 on CDH55021/8 CD2 [4'30] 8CDs Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Deleted

String Quartet in C minor, Op 18 No 4
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
It has been suggested that Beethoven's C minor Quartet is based on material from his earliest period in Bonn. Whatever the truth, the work represents him at full power so far as he had evolved it around 1800, when the six Opus 18 quartets were being composed. C minor has always been connected with Beethoven in trenchant mood, and there is some of that here - a direct shortness of address, a certain impatience with the finesse of transition, and a clear simplicity of texture, with instantly assimilable melodic invention. For all this, there is no lack of subtlety in the proportions, and the sense of movement is as perfect as a cat's. In the crisply effected first movement we feel strong purpose rather than the tragedy or pathos often associated with a minor key, and the E fiat music of the second group has an unmistakably optimistic 'lift'. As if to confirm this, there is no slow movement - instead a lighthearted C major Andante actually entitled 'Scherzo'; this anticipates in some ways the second movement of the First Symphony, especially in its fugato beginning.

By far the most serious part of this Quartet is the so-called minuet, having the urgency of some of Beethoven's later scherzo movements (which incidentally when they were not humorous he never called 'scherzo'). This dramatically intense 'minuet' has some remarkable chromaticisms, and the Trio, with its constant quick triplets in the first violin, could well have influenced Schubert's quartet textures. The Finale is one of Beethoven's rare excursions into the Hungarian style of which Haydn was fond; it is a simple rondo with a contrasting much broader second theme. At the end the tempo increases and, unlike Haydn in such cases, Beethoven allows the minor key to persist to the end. In this Quartet all the movements are in C.

from notes by Robert Simpson © 1990

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDH55021/8 disc 2 track 7
Menuetto: Allegretto
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-90-40207
Duration
4'29
Recording date
15 December 1989
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Arthur Johnson
Recording engineer
Tim Handley
Hyperion usage
  1. Beethoven: String Quartets Op 18 Nos 3, 4 & 6 (CDA66402)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: June 1990
    Deletion date: November 1999
    Archive Service
  2. Beethoven: String Quartets (CDH55021/8)
    Disc 2 Track 7
    Release date: November 1999
    Deletion date: October 2004
    8CDs Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Deleted
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