This disc includes one each of Beethoven's early, middle and late quartets, so you can easily hear the great changes he brought to the form — the long journey he took from his Op. 18 group, which expands on the quartet as Haydn and Mozart left it, to the Grosse Fuge, which still discomfits audiences today. The relentless wildness and abstruseness of this movement, originally intended as the finale to his Op. 130 quartet, led Beethoven's publisher to request that he write another less knotty finale (which arguably does fit better with Op. 130's other movements than does the Fuge, which stands well alone). The composer complied, and now musicians have a choice of finales. The grandeur of the Op. 59 No. 3 quartet culminates in a dazzling finale that never fails to rouse an audience to a standing ovation, particularly headlong and electric here in the Raphael Quartet's performance.
By Justin Davidson on 01.16.15 in Features
She is no longer the goofy but serious alien girl with the long flowing hair; instead she’s a sage.
By Justin Davidson on 12.02.14 in Features
Justin Davidson examines the way recent solo cello albums by Alisa Weilerstein, Jeffrey Ziegler and Maya Beiser reinvent that wordless, eloquent voice.
By Ami Armstrong on 11.26.14 in Features
Stream the Punch Brothers documentary 'How to Grow a Band' this week.
By John Schaefer on 10.28.14 in Reviews
The interlocking rhythm patterns of Steve Reich, the micro-universe contained in the drones of La Monte Young, the hypnotic sounds of the German motorik bands of the '70s…these are a few of the straws I will grasp at in...