Tokyo String Quartet performs Beethoven
This CD features two well-known masterpieces by Beethoven: The Quartet Op. 74 (called the Harp), and the Quartet Op. 95, called “Serioso”)
The Tokyo String Quartet has performed since it was founded close to 40 years ago. Today, its members have changed vs. the original group, and only two of the founding members remain.
So this is really a new group, and they don’t attempt to outdo the previous group’s interpretations. This quartet is more well-balanced in a way; however, for some reason, not as satisfying as their predecessors.
While they don’t perform the Beethoven “Harp” Quartet with the same sense of melodic beauty as some other groups, it seemed to me that they do find Beethoven’s voice later in the composition.
The “Serioso Quartet” (so named because this is what the composer put at the top of the score), provides quite a contrast being composed right after the “Harp”. Here the Tokyo Quartet finds their depth and style completely, providing a dramatic a reading of this amazing work. The Tokyo always was one for achieving dramatic results, and they meet their challenge here.