Beethoven: Late String Quartets, Vol. 2

String Quartet in Bb Major, Opus 130
Große Fuge, Opus 133

The Cypress String Quartet is recording the six quartets written by Beethoven between 1822 and 1826 (historically known as Beethoven's Late Period) for commercial release. The second disc of this three-volume set includes Beethoven's String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 and the Große Fuge, Op. 133. It will be available on iTunes,,, and other major retailers on August 3, 2010. The disc was produced by Cypress first violinist Cecily Ward, engineered by Mark Willsher, and recorded at Skywalker Sound. Volume 1 of the Cypress's Late Beethoven set was released in August 2009. Gramophone praised the disc as "revealing artistry of uncommon insight and cohesion." The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, "The Cypress players converse with such rare sincerity as to make long-familiar music sound utterly fresh." The album was featured as one of The Denver Post's "Best discs of 2009."

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For Beethoven Late Quartets, Volume 2
"In the forest of Beethoven recordings, the Cypress String Quartet's are some of the mightiest trees. Compounding the success of its first installment of late-Beethoven quartets, the San Francisco-based ensemble here considers the great B-Flat Major, Op. 130, offering special insight by including both the original "Grosse Fuge" and the later, alternate finale. The performances are masterly: technically assured and lucidly conversational. After this, one can hardly wait for the third and final release."
Grade: A -- Zachary Lewis for the Cleveland Plain Dealer (7/11/2010)
"The Cypress' joie de vivre in this music shines through in this movement, courtesy of close miking by engineer Mark Willsher. The Cypress project a feverish but delightful intensity into the mix...A fine album of chamber music, certainly a must for collectors of modern Beethoven surveys."
- Gary Lemco for Audiophile Audition
Quartet Opus 130, Grosse Fuge Opus 133 & Alternate Finale Beethoven referred to his Opus 130 Quartet in his conversation books as the "Liebquartett" (Dear Quartet), a fitting title for a quartet that contains some of Beethoven's sweetest and most intimate music. Completed in 1825, the quartet is written in six movements, confounding expectations of music form...