Beethoven : String Quartets Op. 18 nos 1-6, VOL. 1




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“For a string quartet Beethoven is the hallmark, the keystone. We would never have hoped to carry out such a project 25 years ago and now, here we are, 25 years later.” David Ellis, cellist, Alcan String Quartet

The Alcan String Quartet celebrates its 25th anniversary with a landmark three-volume recording of the complete cycle of Beethoven’s 16 string quartets. Volume 1, containing the 6 quartets from Beethoven’s early period, will be available as of November 11, 2014. Volumes 2 and 3 will be on the shelves in February and April 2015, respectively.

As Laura Andriani, the Alcan’s first violinist, says: “For us, this is the Mount Everest of the string quartet repertoire. What a marathon: a long-term, career-capping project!”

Beethoven tackled the composition of his first string quartet in 1798. Over the next two years he composed the six quartets of Opus 18. They were published in 1801 in non-chronological order. According to the surviving drafts, quartet No. 3 was actually the first chronologically, followed by Nos. 1, 2, and 5, and then by Nos. 6 and 4.

The Alcan Quartet — violinists Laura Andriani and Nathalie Camus, violist Luc Beauchemin, and cellist David Ellis — is active in Canada and internationally. The quartet’s originality, contagious enthusiasm, unique sonority, and remarkable cohesion have all contributed to its success. Both on stage and in the recording studio, the Alcan Quartet possesses the qualities that characterize the best ensembles of its kind: a recognizable personality, a homogeneous sound, and an elegant style.

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