Decca Classics has released a compilation album of the Takács Quartet performing its award-winning recordings of the complete String Quartets of Beethoven. This anthology comprises a multi-media presentation of the Beethoven quartets on 7 CDs, 1 Blu-ray Audio disc, and a bonus DVD.
The release of this package presages the Takács Quartet’s August 2017 tour to Australia under the auspices of Musica Viva, when they will perform Beethoven’s String Quartet no 12, op 127 as part of their programme.
Originally released on the Decca label, the string quartets were recorded between 2002 and 2004 and released as three collections.
The early quartets (Nos 1-6, 2 CDs) were released in January 2004 and won the 2004 Japanese Recording Academy Award; the middle quartets (Nos 7-10, 2 CDs) comprise the three Rasumovsky Quartets and the Harp Quartet. Released in April 2002, this recording won that year’s Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Recording, the Gramophone Award Winner for Best Chamber Music Recording, the Japanese Recording Academy Award and the Chamber Music America Award. The recording of the late quartets (Nos 11-16, 3 CDs) was released in November 2004 and won the 2005 awards for BBC Music Magazine Record of the Year, the Gramophone Award for Chamber Music, the Classical Brits Award for Chamber Music and the Japanese Recording Academy Award.
The complete repertoire has been remastered from the original tapes and is presented on one single High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray disc, allowing true 24-bit/48kHz playback. It comes in a rigid slip case and wallets with bronze, silver and gold foiling, presenting the Early, Middle, and Late quartets.
The 104-page colour booklet contains an excerpt from Takács violinist Edward Dusinberre’s book “Beethoven For A Later Age – The Story of A String Quartet” (described by Peter Quantrill in Gramophone, as “A book unlike any other in its field, to be considered and enjoyed by anyone with more than a passing interest in Beethoven or quartet playing of the intimate workings of a great string quartet”). There are repertoire notes in English, French, and German, by Misha Donat, recording notes by Decca Engineer Simon Eadon and a bonus DVD of Beethoven, Schubert and Haydn recorded at Hopetoun House, Scotland.