Your Shopping Cart


Your cart is currently empty.

Continue Shopping


Discover

Dover Quartet Completes Ambitious Beethoven Cycle of String Quartets


The celebrated Dover Quartet, the Grammy-nominated ensemble brimming with prestigious awards and residencies, has undertaken the immense task of putting their stamp on all 16 of Beethoven’s celebrated string quartets in a three-volume set. The first two installments, released in 2020 and 2021 respectively, comprised Beethoven’s early and middle quartets and were greeted with ecstatic reviews:

“Beethoven would find it hard to believe that his quartets could be played with such perfection of execution, such beauty of tone, such nuance of expression, and such keen understanding of his music’s meaning and intent.” (Fanfare)

“Their Beethoven is, simply, perfection.” (Classical CD Review).

The third and final volume, released in October, features the composer’s five monumental, revolutionary Late Quartets and imposing Grosse Fuge. The triple-CD release comprises Beethoven’s very last compositions — remarkable and often daunting works that upended the concept of the string quartet. Many modern critics and scholars consider them the ultimate expression of Beethoven’s artistry. Critics of his time were not as universally laudatory. From the album liner notes:

“From the time of Beethoven’s middle-period quartets, in the early 1800s, there were dissenting voices — listeners who did not unequivocally endorse Beethoven’s quartets because of their difficulty… some listeners extolled Beethoven as a great innovator, others considered his work that of a deaf madman.”

Experiencing a composer’s oeuvre on recording allows listeners to immerse themselves in the music in a way that concert performances may not fully allow. In an interview on Cedille’s Classical Chicago podcast, violinist Joel Link noted:

“It’s very difficult to put multiples of (Beethoven string quartets) on a program. Each one of those experiences is so full and rich and self-reflective and explorational that it can be a lot to have multiple of them (on a concert program)… To get to play the Beethoven cycle, is both a daunting and extremely fulfilling experience. When you play his music, you get to explore the gamut of human emotion.”

When asked what he wants listeners to take away from their experience of the Dover’s cycle, Link said:

“Be very open to the experience, feel what you feel, share what you feel, and tell people that classical music can be really deeply moving and say something very intimate and special.”

You can now experience the full artistry of the Dover Quartet and Beethoven by listening to volumes I, II, and III of their Beethoven cycle.


Recommended

Pre-Order

Mary Elizabeth Bowden, praised for her “splendid, brilliant” artistry (Gramophone), celebrates the narrative power of the trumpet. Bowden is joined by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Allen Tinkham in a collection of new concertos that redefine the trumpet’s voice in modern classical music.

Monthly Playlist

To celebrate Cedille’s May 10 release of the Pacifica Quartet‘s American Voices, featuring music based on folk and popular music elements, a playlist of pieces based on folk songs, dances, hymns, spirituals, etc. (real or invented). We’ll add tracks from the new album when it’s released on 5/10.

Album of the Week

Enjoy 25% off of Cedille’s Featured Release.

Listen Now

On this episode of Classical Chicago, Cedille President Jim Ginsburg talks with Pacifica Quartet violinist Austin Hartman about his experience recording Cedille’s latest release, American Voices. The multiple Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet continues its highly acclaimed recording series that explores the sounds of America with an album comprising string quartets incorporating elements of American folk music and spirituals by Antonín Dvořák, Florence Price, and Louis Gruenberg, plus a new work by James Lee III.