Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Beethoven String Quartets Op 18 59 131|
Actors: Beethoven, Juilliard String Quartet
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
BEETHOVEN:STRING QUARTETS OP 18 59 13 - DVD Movie
Classic Juilliard Quartet Performances
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 07/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a fan of the Juilliard String Quartet for more than forty years and have heard their live performances of all the Beethoven Quartets, one of the highlights of my concert-going career. I have heard the group in several of its iterations, going back to when Isadore Cohen, Raphael Hillyer and Claus Adam were its second violinist, violist and cellist. The make-up of the Quartet on this DVD recorded in 1975 is their original first violinist, Robert Mann, second violinist Earl Carlyss, violist Samuel Rhodes, and cellist Joel Krosnick. Krosnick had joined the group only a year earlier but he is clearly completely assimilated. This is probably the make-up that most middle-age and older music-lovers know best. Today only Rhodes and Krosnick remain in the group.
The DVD consists of performances of three of Beethoven's best-loved quartets -- the 4th Quartet in C Minor, Op. 18, No. 4; the 7th Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1 ('Rasumovsky No. 1'), and the 14th Quartet in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131. They are filmed in the gorgeous baroque Bibliotheksaal, Polling, Bavaria.
The Juilliard has always been known for its incisiveness, technical assurance, deep musicianship and the ability to convey the appropriate atmosphere of whatever they play, whether it be Mozart, Beethoven, Shostakovich or Bartók. Their CDs of all the Beethoven quartets have long been sought by quartet lovers the world over. Beethoven: Complete String Quartets. However, as far as I know this is the only easily available DVD of the quartet. One might worry about the quality of both sound and visuals, given that the recording was made in 1975, but one need not make too many allowances for older technology. These are both visually and sonically satisfying. Visually, not much time is spent looking around the gilded walls of the Bibliotheksaal. Rather, we get the players in close-up much of the time, and the director, Hugo Käch, certainly knew his Beethoven: the close-ups match closely what is happening in the music and are not distracting at all. In fact, they enhance the impact of the music-making. As for the performances, I can only say that once again I fell in love with the playing of this magnificent quartet.
So, if you want a visual and sonic representation of one of the greatest quartets of the last half of the twentieth century, and an American institution, this DVD will fill the bill.