by Martin Saving March 28th, 2011

How fast shall we play?

Elias String Quartet invites its audience to share in its journey at www.thebeethovenproject.com as they work towards the complete cycle of Beethoven String Quartets.  Kicking off the quartet’s blog, viola player Martin Saving considers the difficult subject of tempo…

The subject of tempi in Beethoven’s quartets is a controversial one. These pieces have throughout the years entered the subconscious of professional musicians, amateurs and audience, and the tradition, handed down by the great quartets of yesteryear, has become a norm against which all subsequent performances are judged. The recordings and performances we grew up with and the interpretive choices the artists made have become an integral part of our outlook on the masterworks. And the choice of tempo in music that so many people dearly love can arouse strong feelings: When the Kolisch Quartet performed Beethoven’s opus 95 quartet in Paris according to the indicated metronome markings, presumably in the second quarter of the last century, a fistfight ensued.

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by Peter Cropper March 28th, 2011

Beethoven’s String Quartets

Today, Elias String Quartet launches a new website which invites its audience to share in its journey towards the complete cycle of Beethoven String Quartets.  To launch the site, the quartet asked Peter Cropper – with decades of experience of Beethoven String Quartets behind him as 1st violin of the Lindsay Quartet – to give his own an insight into the breadth of the Beethoven Quartets…

BEETHOVEN’S STRING QUARTETS are universally acknowledged as the most profound group of pieces in Western music. I played each quartet at least 200 times over thirty years and never tired  of them. There was always some new element that was uncovered in each performance. Quartets are a conversation between 4 players sometimes agreeing and sometimes arguing in the sense that we sometimes play the same tune together but we could equally barge in with another idea. Continue reading this entry »

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by Nino Gvetadze March 14th, 2011

Animating Liszt

Monday, 28th of February

It’s early morning in London.  I didn’t sleep well, because of the excitement of the coming day and the rest of the week. Finally the long-awaited production of my Liszt CD is taking shape. Lots of questions in my head, but one thing is for sure: it all feels natural.  It has to be done, there is no doubt about it!

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