Friday, February 14, 2020

Beethoven, anyone?

If you, too, were inspired by this New York Times article to listen to all of Beethoven’s string quartets, Elaine has a detailed and well-received post with suggestions for listening. Two of her favorite recordings of the quartets are available from Amazon for ridiculously low prices: those by the Alban Berg Quartet (7 CDs, $16.74) and the Végh Quartet (10 CDs, $20.99). The Végh set includes Bartók’s string quartets.

I’m listening to quartets as performed by the Guarneri Quartet, if only because I brought their boxed set years ago with the thought that it would be fun to, &c. And now I am. I find that having the score in hand (courtesy of Elaine, of course) is tremendously helpful. My music-reading ability is minimal, but looking at the score still helps me to follow the movement of the music and the interplay of instruments.

When I checked Amazon last night, the Guarneri set (a CD reissue of 1969 recordings) was listed as out of print. Today there’s a December 2019 reissue available (8 CDs, $24.98). Another bargain.

But for furthering one’s humanity and lifting one’s spirits in difficult times, Beethoven is a bargain at any price.

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