Beethoven Around the World: Vienna, String Quartets Nos 7 & 8
For Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year, French ensemble Quatuor Ébène resolved to perform all 16 of the composer’s quartets in concert halls on six continents—only Antarctica misses out—with recordings emerging from the tour. This volume finds them playing two of the Razumovsky quartets in Vienna, where they were first heard. Intense and full of nervous energy, Op. 59 Nos. 1 and 2 fairly fizz with excitement. Celebrating their own 20th anniversary, the Ébène are in their prime and perfectly placed to take on this ambitious journey, which they do with their characteristic finesse and musicianship.