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String Quartets op. 59, String Quintet op. 29
Ludwig van Beethoven

Kuijken Quartet

String Quartets op. 59, String Quintet op. 29

Price: € 20.95 14.67
Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917236224
Catnr: CC 72362
Release date: 07 February 2011
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917236224
Catalogue number
CC 72362
Release date
07 February 2011

"They include some refreshing insights in a full and truthfully balanced recording."

The Strad, 01-8-2011
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
Press
EN
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DE

About the album

Around the time the Rasumovski Quartet's were written, Beethovens favorite violinist, Ignaz von Schuppanzigh had begun the very first professional string quartet, thus providing Beethoven with an ideal laboratory for testing new string quartet ideas. Before this, string quartet playing was more something that happened in living rooms. Amateurs of, grantedly, good musical quality would entertain themselves among friends by playing string quartets. By writing for the Schuppanzigh quartet, which moreover would perform in public concert series, Beethoven became involved with a wholly new setting. ¬Naturally, he turned the prospect entirely to his advantage; from then on he could do as he wished in his string quartets.

“It is really almost unimaginable that the six opus 18 and the Rasumovsky quartets were a mere 5 years apart. You feel that when Beethoven wrote his opus 59 it was really ‘boiling over’ in his head. In relation to opus 18, which still leaned heavily on Haydn’s way of writing, this music is much more abstract. The string quartet must be the most abstractive apparatus in existence. That instrumental setting asks as it were that the composer dive into the essence of tonality and start making abstractions. With four entirely equal voices and the scarcest of means, Beethoven builds nearly exalted constructions. Everything that happens in this music is absolutely essential. Beethoven announces in this opus 59 an entirely new era in music.”

“In Beethoven’s later music it gets less and less necessary to play on early instruments. This music is not merely less connected to specific instruments than Beethoven’s earlier works, it is outright futuristic. The question brings to mind Beethoven’s rather testy retort when Schuppanzigh commented that his music seemed at times unplayable: “Do you actually believe that I am thinking of your miserable violin when I compose?” (Sigiswald, Sara and Veronica Kuijken speaking about Beethoven’s opus 59)

The Kuijken String Quartet has already exists almost twenty years . , make up an ensemble, which can play these recordings in a way that practically no other can.
Strijkkwartetten van Beethoven: een nieuw tijdperk in de muziek
Dit album van het Kuijken String Quartet bevat intens vertolkte opnames van de drie Rasumovsky kwartetten en het strijkkwintet opus 29 van Beethoven. "Eén van Beethoven's favoriete musici, violist Ignaz von Schuppanzigh, zei dat het leek of sommige passages uit het werk niet te spelen waren. Dat het wel degelijk te spelen is, en zelfs op meesterlijke wijze uit te voeren is, bewijzen deze vijf zowel in technisch als artistiek opzicht begaafde musici." Jan de Jeu, Music Emotion, juni 2011.

De drie kwartetten schreef Beethoven in 1806 voor zijn opdrachtgever, de Russische graaf Andreas Razumovsky. De eerste twee kwartetten bevatten verwijzingen naar Russische volksmuziek en vormen zo een ode aan de opdrachtgever. Het strijkkwintet opus 29 componeerde Beethoven in 1801. Dit werk is een altvioolkwintet. Het is geschreven voor een strijkkwartet en een extra altviool. Een bezetting dus van twee violen, twee altviolen en een cello.

Aardig is dat twee generaties van de muzikale familie Kuijken op deze opname te horen zijn. Vader Sigiswald, broer Wieland en dochters Sara en Vernonica Kuijken. Daarbij speelt Sigiwalds vrouw Marleen Thiers in het kwintet de tweede viool. Hoewel de naam van het kwartet over het algemeen gekoppeld wordt aan de historische uitvoeringspraktijk, speelt de familie op moderne instrumenten. Luisteraars hoeven dus geen specifieke historische tendens te verwachten. Kuijken: "Ik durf zelfs te stellen, dat we ons voor alles, intuïtief en op basis van onze ervaring, hebben laten raken en motiveren door de immense kracht van deze stukken van Beethoven. We deelden verbazing en vreugde. Gedurende het proces werden we er ons steeds meer van bewust, dat het een geschenk uit de hemel kan zijn om dezelfde genen te hebben. En dat een instrument gewoon een instrument is, en niets meer dan dat."

In de tijd dat Beethoven zijn Rasumovsky kwartetten schreef, begon Beethoven's favoriete violist Ignaz von Schuppanzigh het allereerste professionele strijkkwartet. Hiermee gaf hij Beethoven de ideale gelegenheid om zijn nieuwe ideeën voor strijkkwartetten uit te testen. Daarvóór werden strijkkwartetten alleen in huiskamers gespeeld. Iets wat amateurs, van een hoog muzikaal niveau, deden om hun vrienden te vermaken. Zo kwam Beethoven, bij het schrijven voor het Schuppanzigh kwartet, in aanraking met een compleet nieuwe setting. En natuurlijk gebruikte hij dat in zijn voordeel. Vanaf dat moment kon hij doen wat hij wilde in zijn strijkkwartetten. Je voelt dan ook dat, toen Beethoven zijn opus 59 schreef, er van alles opborrelde in zijn hoofd. In vergelijking met eerdere strijkkwartetten, die sterk leunden op de stijl van Haydn, zijn de Rasumovsky kwartetten meer abstract. Alles wat in deze muziek gebeurt is absoluut essentieel. Beethoven kondigt hier een volledig nieuw tijdperk in de muziek aan.

Dirigent en violist Sigiswald Kuijken (Brussel, 1944) kwam op jonge leeftijd in aanraking met de oude muziek. Samen met zijn broer Wieland verdiepte hij zich door zelfstudie in de bouw en speeltechnieken van instrumenten uit de 17e- en 18e-eeuw. Sigiswald introduceerde de authentieke speelwijze voor de barokviool: het instrument wordt niet meer onder de kin geklemd, maar ligt vrij op de schouder. Die nieuwe speelwijze wordt sindsdien algemeen toegepast. Sigiswald Kuijken trad in diverse ensembles op, voordat hij in 1972, samen met Gustav Leonhardt het barokorkest La Petite Bande oprichtte. In 1986 gevolgd door het Kuijken Strijkkwartet met François Fernandez, zijn vrouw Marleen Thiers en zijn broer Wieland Kuijken. Vanaf 1998 voegt Sigiswald daar soms leden van zijn familie aan toe, zijn dochters Sara en Veronica en zijn broer Wieland.
Die vorliegende Aufnahme aller Rasumovski-Quartette und dem Streichquintett op. 29 entstand mit zwei Generationen aus der Musikerfamilie Kuijken (Veronica, Sigiswald, Sara und Wieland Kuijken) und Sigiswalds Frau Marleen Thiers, die im Quintett die zweite Viola spielt. Sie wurde auf sogenannten ?modernen? Instrumenten aufgenommen, obwohl man mit dem Namen Kuijken meist 'historische Aufführungspraxis' verbindet. Es entstand nicht eine Aufnahme mit bewusst 'historisierender' Tendenz, sondern eine luzide und wegweisende Neuinterpretation, die die Tradition und die Modernität dieser Meisterwerke in perfekten Einlang bringt.

Artist(s)

Sigiswald Kuijken

Sigiswald Kuijken was born in 1944 close to Brussels. He studied violin at the conservatories of Bruges and Brussels, completing his studies at the latter institution with Maurice Raskin in 1964. He came into contact with early music at a very young age, together with his brother Wieland. Studying on his own, he gained a thorough knowledge of specific 17th- and 18th-century performance techniques and conventions of interpretation on violin and viola da gamba. This led to the introduction, in 1969, of a more authentic way of playing the violin, whereby the instrument was no longer held under the chin, but lay freely on the shoulder;  this was to have a crucial influence on the approach to the violin repertoire...
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Sigiswald Kuijken was born in 1944 close to Brussels. He studied violin at the conservatories of Bruges and Brussels, completing his studies at the latter institution with Maurice Raskin in 1964. He came into contact with early music at a very young age, together with his brother Wieland. Studying on his own, he gained a thorough knowledge of specific 17th- and 18th-century performance techniques and conventions of interpretation on violin and viola da gamba. This led to the introduction, in 1969, of a more authentic way of playing the violin, whereby the instrument was no longer held under the chin, but lay freely on the shoulder; this was to have a crucial influence on the approach to the violin repertoire and was consequently adopted by many players starting in the early 1970s.
From 1964 to 1972, Sigiswald Kuijken was a member of the Brussels-based Alarius Ensemble (with Wieland Kuijken, Robert Kohnen and Janine Rubinlicht), which performed throughout Europe and in the United States. He subsequently undertook individual chamber music projects with a number of Baroque music specialists, chief among which were his brothers Wieland and Barthold and Robert Kohnen, as well as Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Anner Bylsma and René Jacobs.
In 1972, with the encouragement of Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and Gustav Leonhardt, he founded the Baroque orchestra La Petite Bande, which since then has given innumerable concerts throughout Europe, Australia, South America, China and Japan, and has made many recordings for a number of labels (including Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Seon, Virgin, Accent, Denon, Hyperion and Challenge.
In 1986 he founded the Kuijken String Quartet (with François Fernandez, Marleen Thiers and Wieland Kuijken), which specialises in the quartets and quintets of the Classical period. Recordings of quartets and quintets by Mozart and Haydn have appeared on Denon and Challenge.
Since 1998 Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally brings together two generations Kuijken (his daughters Veronica and Sara and his brother Wieland) to perform string quartets of later periods (Debussy, Schumann, Beethoven, Schubert) often combined with Lieder by Marie Kuijken, soprano and also daughter of Sigiswald, and Veronica Kuijken, piano. Recordings of the two generations have been made for Arcana and Challenge Records.
In 2004 Sigiswald Kuijken reintroduced in practical performance the violoncello da spalla (shoulder cello) very probably the instrument Bach had in mind when writing his six suites for violoncello solo.
From 1971 to 1996, Sigiswald Kuijken taught Baroque violin at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and from 1993 to 2009 at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium in Brussels.
For many years he was a guest teacher at institutions such as the Royal College of Music in London, Salamanca University, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, the Conservatoire of Geneva and the Musikhochschule of Leipzig. Since 1998, Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally conducts “modern” symphonic orchestras in romantic programs ( Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn).

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Veronica Kuijken

Veronica Kuijken (1978) started to play piano at age six and violin at age eight. She went to the Brussels conservatory at the age of 16 in the piano class of Daniel Blumenthal. There she took her master's degree in piano cum laude in June 1999. After two years of violin lessons, and privately tutoring for seven years she continued her studies in London and obtained a master's degree in violin in September 1998 (via the Central Examining Committee of the Flemish Community). She has been studying at the Musikhochschule in Winterthur (Switzerland) since October 1999. In 1997 Veronica was selected as a violinist in the European Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, conducted by Iván Fischer, Semyon Bychkov and Pierre Boulez....
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Veronica Kuijken (1978) started to play piano at age six and violin at age eight. She went to the Brussels conservatory at the age of 16 in the piano class of Daniel Blumenthal. There she took her master's degree in piano cum laude in June 1999. After two years of violin lessons, and privately tutoring for seven years she continued her studies in London and obtained a master's degree in violin in September 1998 (via the Central Examining Committee of the Flemish Community). She has been studying at the Musikhochschule in Winterthur (Switzerland) since October 1999. In 1997 Veronica was selected as a violinist in the European Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, conducted by Iván Fischer, Semyon Bychkov and Pierre Boulez. Alongside her studies, Veronica Kuijken and her sister Marie (soprano and pianist) have performed since 1993 as the 'I Pulcini' duo. Veronica has regularly played with the Kammerorchester Basel since 2000, and holds a part-time position as piano accompanist with the Conservatory of Music in Lausanne and as harpsichord accompanist in the Geneva Conservatory.

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Wieland Kuijken

Wieland Kuijken (1938) obtained a Higher Certificate in cello at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 1959. Taught himself to play viola da gamba and 17th and 18th century performance practice. Performed avantgarde music until the late seventies. He often worked together with his two brothers Barthold and Sigiswald and harpsichordist Robert Kohnen. He is much sought after as a teacher and as a cellist known for his interpretation of Bach's solo suites. He also occasionally works as a conductor.
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Wieland Kuijken (1938) obtained a Higher Certificate in cello at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 1959. Taught himself to play viola da gamba and 17th and 18th century performance practice. Performed avantgarde music until the late seventies. He often worked together with his two brothers Barthold and Sigiswald and harpsichordist Robert Kohnen. He is much sought after as a teacher and as a cellist known for his interpretation of Bach's solo suites. He also occasionally works as a conductor.

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Kuijken String Quartet

In 1986 the Kuijken String Quartet was founded by early music specialist Sigiswald Kuijken, with François Fernandez, Marleen Thiers and his brother Wieland Kuijken. The ensemble specializes in the quartets and quintets of the Classical period, and is renowned for its important contribution to authentic playing of stringed instruments, especially in works of Haydn and Mozart. The quartet has made numerous acclaimed recordings and toured Europe and North America. Since 1998 Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally brings together two generations Kuijken (his daughters Veronica and Sara and his brother Wieland) to perform string quartets of later periods, such as those by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Debussy. This quartet is also known as the Kuijken String Quartet.
more
In 1986 the Kuijken String Quartet was founded by early music specialist Sigiswald Kuijken, with François Fernandez, Marleen Thiers and his brother Wieland Kuijken. The ensemble specializes in the quartets and quintets of the Classical period, and is renowned for its important contribution to authentic playing of stringed instruments, especially in works of Haydn and Mozart. The quartet has made numerous acclaimed recordings and toured Europe and North America.
Since 1998 Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally brings together two generations Kuijken (his daughters Veronica and Sara and his brother Wieland) to perform string quartets of later periods, such as those by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Debussy. This quartet is also known as the Kuijken String Quartet.

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Marleen Thiers

Marleen Thiers (1945) studied with Arthur Grumiaux and Maurice Raskin at the Conservatory of Brussels. Just like her husband, Sigiswald Kuijken, she immediately showed a special penchant for period instruments and performance practice. She plays first viola in La Petite Bande and is a cofounder and viola player with the Two Generations Kuijken.
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Marleen Thiers (1945) studied with Arthur Grumiaux and Maurice Raskin at the Conservatory of Brussels. Just like her husband, Sigiswald Kuijken, she immediately showed a special penchant for period instruments and performance practice. She plays first viola in La Petite Bande and is a cofounder and viola player with the Two Generations Kuijken.

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Sara Kuijken

Sara Kuijken (1968) studied viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where she obtained a 1st prize in 1989 and in 1992 the Higher Certificate magna cum laude. At the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam she obtained a degree as a performing musician in 1995. Together with seven other musicians, she founded the Oxalys chamber music ensemble, in which she played viola and served as artistic director until 1998. This ensemble released two CDs, with impressionist and with contemporary Russian chamber music. Her father Sigiswald Kuijken gave her some baroque violin instruction in 1994. She is a regular participant in La Petite Bande. Since the academic year 2005-06 she has been assistant instructor of baroque violin at the Royal...
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Sara Kuijken (1968) studied viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where she obtained a 1st prize in 1989 and in 1992 the Higher Certificate magna cum laude. At the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam she obtained a degree as a performing musician in 1995. Together with seven other musicians, she founded the Oxalys chamber music ensemble, in which she played viola and served as artistic director until 1998. This ensemble released two CDs, with impressionist and with contemporary Russian chamber music. Her father Sigiswald Kuijken gave her some baroque violin instruction in 1994. She is a regular participant in La Petite Bande. Since the academic year 2005-06 she has been assistant instructor of baroque violin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels.

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Composer(s)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, one violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. Together with Mozart and Haydn, he was part of the First Viennese School.    Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob...
more
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, one violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. Together with Mozart and Haydn, he was part of the First Viennese School. Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn, and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. By his late 20s his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose; many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his life.

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Press

They include some refreshing insights in a full and truthfully balanced recording.
The Strad, 01-8-2011

Play album Play album
Disc #1
01.
String Quartet in F major op. 59 no. 1: Allegro
09:25
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
02.
String Quartet in F major op. 59 no. 1: Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando
08:41
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
03.
String Quartet in F major op. 59 no. 1: Adagio molto e mesto
10:17
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
04.
String Quartet in F major op. 59 no. 1: Allegro
09:05
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
05.
String Quartet in e minor op. 59 no. 2: Allegro
10:13
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
06.
String Quartet in e minor op. 59 no. 2: Molto Adagio
11:39
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
07.
String Quartet in e minor op. 59 no. 2: Allegretto
06:57
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
08.
String Quartet in e minor op. 59 no. 2: Finale: Presto
05:35
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet

Disc #2
01.
String Quartet in C major op. 59 no. 3 ?Razumovsky?: Introduzione: Andante con moto. Allegro vivace
11:02
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
02.
String Quartet in C major op. 59 no. 3 ?Razumovsky?: Andante con moto quasi Allegretto
08:10
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
03.
String Quartet in C major op. 59 no. 3 ?Razumovsky?: Menuetto
04:54
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
04.
String Quartet in C major op. 59 no. 3 ?Razumovsky?: Allegretto molto
06:31
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet
05.
String Quintet in C major op. 29: Allegro moderato
10:13
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet, Marleen Thiers
06.
String Quintet in C major op. 29: Adagio molto espressivo
10:37
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet, Marleen Thiers
07.
String Quintet in C major op. 29: Scherzo. Allegro
03:56
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet, Marleen Thiers
08.
String Quintet in C major op. 29: Finale. Presto
09:37
(Ludwig van Beethoven) Kuijken Quartet, Marleen Thiers
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