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Even with a composer of Beethoven's stature, it remains possible to discover lesser-known masterworks. The discovery of such works a chief joy of listening to recordings. Beethoven's string quintet in C major, opus 29. is rarely performed & seldom recorded. Yet, it is delightful Beethoven, with a simplicity, polish & seeming effortlessness that he rarely achieved elsewhere.Maynard Solomon's biography of Beethoven praised it highly. I read Solomon several years ago but am only now getting to the string quintet in this excellent recording by the Zurich String Quintet on Brilliant. This CD also includes Beethoven's other efforts with the string quintet, but it is worth having for the opus 29 alone.

The opus 29 string quintet is Beethoven's only original effort in the form as the opus 4 & opus 104 quintets, also included on this CD, are arrangements of works originally composed for other instruments. The C major quintet is radiant, confident,and cheerful. It flows lyrically and looks back in its serenity to the works of Haydn. The quintet reminded me of Beethoven's opus 22 piano sonata, also too little appreciated nowadays, in its confidence and in the feeling of summation of an earlier musical style that it inspires. The first violin plays a preeminent, soaring role in Beethoven's quintet.

CD1
1 String Quintet in C major ('Storm'), Op. 29: Allegro moderato
2 : Adagio molto espressivo
3 Scherzo, allegro
4 : Presto
5 String Quintet in C minor (after Piano Trio, Op. 1/3), Op. 104: Allegro con brio
6 : Andante cantabile con variazioni
7 : Menuetto, quasi allegro
8 : Finale, prestissimo

CD2
1 String Quintet in E flat major (after the Octet, Op. 103), Op. 4: Allegro con brio
2 : Andante
3 Menuetto
4 Finale, presto
5 Fugue for string quintet in D major, Op. 137
6 Duo for viola & cello in E flat major ('With two eyeglasses obbligato'), : Movement 1
7 Minuetto
8 Lndler (6) for 2 violins & double bass,

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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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