October 15, 2019
Miró Quartet Completes Beethoven String Quartet Recording Cycle with Release of Eight-Disc Box Set on PENTATONE, November 15

Digital audio to be available for streaming and high-resolution download

Reviews for the Miró’s Op. 18 recording:

“…very well played by every technical standard… intonation is perfect, ensemble balance and blend are beautifully modulated, tone production is full and robust yet cleanly drawn and sharply etched.” — Fanfare

“…fine ensemble playing, exemplary dynamic control, poise and elegance…
a dialogue of equals, with no shrinking violets to be found.” — Time Out New York

“The Miró’s approach to these epoch-making masterpieces is
consistently animated and imaginative.” — Gramophone

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (October 15, 2019) — The Miró Quartet’s complete Beethoven string quartet recording cycle will be released by PENTATONE as an eight-disc box set and in digital formats on Friday, November 15. This collection, which marks the Miró’s debut on the label, brings to a culmination the ensemble’s two-decade exploration of these sixteen pivotal works in the quartet repertoire, while also celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Digital audio will be available for streaming and high-resolution download (96/24 PCM & 44.1k/16 PCM), and pre-orders are currently available via PENTATONE by clicking here.

On performing Beethoven’s string quartets, the Miró Quartet said:

“Over the last two decades, we have been lucky enough to perform this complete cycle in many different venues around the world, and it is undeniable that the experience of sharing this great musical journey with a live audience has been one of the most impactful experiences of our lives, one that has changed us as artists and as people.”

In 2004, the Miró recorded the Op. 18 quartets, and since then, four additional volumes have been released, most recently in 2018. The box set includes these recordings as well as the three remaining works in the cycle: String Quartets No. 12 in E-flat major, Op. 127; No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132; and No. 16 in F major, Op. 135. Reflecting on the experience of recording the Beethoven quartets, the Miró said:

“This project has enabled us to explore the mystery and beauty of these works down to the tiniest detail. But the nature of this great music is that there is always more in it to discover, there is always a new way to hear it, feel it, play it, know it. It lives and breathes and evolves all on its own, so in a sense, there is no way to truly “record” it. Creating these quartets was one of Beethoven’s greatest life’s works, and in so many ways creating this great set of recordings has been one of ours.”

In concert, the Miró is currently in the midst of a complete, year-long Beethoven string quartet cycle as part of an artist residency at Chamber Music Northwest. Launched in July 2019 with the Op. 18 quartets, the cycle continues with the middle quartets in December 2019 and February 2020, followed by the late quartets in July 2020. The ensemble has previously performed full Beethoven cycles at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Chamber Music Tulsa, and the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival in Washington state.

Miró Quartet performs Op. 95 (“Serioso”) in 2015 as part of
complete Beethoven string quartet cycle at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall

 

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary season, the Miró Quartet―violinists Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, violist John Largess, and cellist Joshua Gindele―is one of America’s most celebrated string quartets. The Quartet has performed throughout the world on the most prestigious concert stages, earning accolades from critics and audiences alike. Based in Austin, TX, and thriving on the area’s storied music scene, the Miró takes pride in finding new ways to communicate with audiences of all backgrounds while cultivating the longstanding tradition of chamber music.

When the Miró began recording the complete Beethoven string quartets, the ensemble included second violinist Sandy Yamamoto, who performs on CDs 1 and 2 of the present box set. Mr. Fedkenheuer performs on CDs 3–8. Among the ensemble’s other recordings are Schubert Interrupted featuring the composer’s “Death and the Maiden” quartet and song with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, and The Miró Quartet Live! with Kevin Puts’s Credo, composed for the Miró, and Dvořák’s String Quartet in F major. The Miró is also featured in Transcendence, an Emmy Award-winning documentary and multimedia project centered around a performance of Schubert’s Quartet in G major on rare Stradivarius and Guarneri instruments.

Formed in 1995, the Miró was awarded first prize at several competitions including the Banff International String Quartet Competition and also received the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Committed to music education, members of the Quartet have given master classes at universities and conservatories throughout the world; and since 2003, the Miró has served as faculty string quartet-in-residence at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin. In 2005, the Quartet became the first ensemble ever to be awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

For more information, visit miroquartet.com.

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MIRÓ QUARTET
BEETHOVEN: COMPLETE STRING QUARTETS
PENTATONE (PTC 5186827)

Miró Quartet
— Daniel Ching, first violin
— William Fedkenheuer, second violin
— John Largess, viola
— Joshua Gindele, cello

*Sandy Yamamoto, second violin on CDs 1 and 2

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)

CD 1*

String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1
1 — I. Allegro con brio (9:08)
2 — II. Adagio affettuoso ed appassionato (9:44)
3 — III. Scherzo: Allegro molto (3:14)
4 — IV. Allegro (6:33)

String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2
5 — I. Allegro (7:28)
6 — II. Adagio cantabile – Allegro – Tempo (5:58)
7 — III. Scherzo: Allegro (4:15)
8 — IV. Allegro molto, quasi Presto (5:08)

String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3
9 — I. Allegro (8:23)
10 — II. Andante con moto (7:33)
11 — III. Allegro (3:00)
12 — IV. Presto (6:07)

Total playing time CD 1: 76:31

CD 2*

String Quartet No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 18, No. 4
1 — I. Allegro ma non tanto (8:20)
2 — II. Andante scherzoso quasi Allegretto (6:22)
3 — III. Menuetto: Allegretto (3:03)
4 — IV. Allegro – Prestissimo (4:28)

String Quartet No. 5 in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5
5 — I. Allegro (6:33)
6 — II. Menuetto (4:35)
7 — III. Andante cantabile (10:15)
8 — IV. Allegro (6:21)

String Quartet No. 6 in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6
9 — I. Allegro con brio (5:45)
10 — II. Adagio ma non troppo (7:43)
11 — III. Scherzo: Allegro (3:04)
12 — IV. La Malinconia: Adagio – Allegretto quasi Allegro – Prestissimo (8:36)

Total playing time CD 2: 75:05

CDs 1 and 2 recorded at The American Academy of Arts & Letters (New York, NY), October 7–22, 2004.

CD 3

String Quartet No. 7 in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1 ("Rasumovsky" No. 1)
1 — I. Allegro (9:41)
2 — II. Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando (8:47)
3 — III. Adagio molto e mesto (13:05)
4 — IV. Thème Russe: Allegro (8:03)

Total playing time CD 3: 39:36

CD 4

String Quartet No. 8 in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2 ("Rasumovsky No. 2")
1 — I. Allegro (12:46)
2 — II. Molto adagio (Si tratta questo pezzo con molto di sentimento) (12:05)
3 — III. Allegretto – Maggiore: Thème Russe (6:17)
4 — IV. Finale: Presto (5:10)

String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3 ("Rasumovsky No. 3")
5 — I. Introduzione: Andante con moto – Allegro vivace (10:15)
6 — II. Andante con moto quasi allegretto (8:33)
7 — III. Menuetto grazioso (5:01)
8 — IV. Allegro molto (5:48)

Total playing time CD 4: 65:55

CDs 3 and 4 recorded at Jessen Auditorium, The University of Texas at Austin, May 14–25, 2012.

CD 5

String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 74 ("Harp")
1 — I. Poco adagio – Allegro (9:33)
2 — II. Adagio ma non troppo (9:15)
3 — III. Presto (5:03)
4 — IV. Allegretto con Variazioni (6:42)

String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 95 ("Serioso")
5 — I. Allegro con brio (4:36)
6 — II. Allegretto ma non troppo (6:56)
7 — III. Allegro assai vivace ma serioso (4:35)
8 — IV. Larghetto espressivo – Allegretto agitato – Allegro (4:52)

Total playing time CD 5: 51:32

Recorded at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall (Seattle, WA), March 15–19, 2015.

CD 6

String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat Major, Op. 127
1 — I. Maestoso – Allegro (6:31)
2 — II. Adagio ma non troppo e molto cantabile (14:20)
3 — III. Scherzo: Vivace (8:22)
4 — IV. Finale: Allegro (6:38)

String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131
5 — No. 1: Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo (6:34)
6 — No. 2: Allegro molto vivace (2:55)
7 — No. 3: Allegro moderato – Adagio (0:50)
8 — No. 4: Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile (14:03)
9 — No. 5: Presto (5:28)
10 — No. 6: Adagio quasi un poco andante (1:58)
11 — No. 7: Allegro (6:44)

Total playing time CD 6: 74:23

Recorded at Bastyr Chapel, Bastyr University (Kenmore, WA), September 26–29, 2017 (Op. 131), and February 17–20, 2019 (Op. 127).

CD 7

String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130/133
1 — I. Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro (13:34)
2 — II. Presto (2:04)
3 — III. Poco scherzoso: Andante con moto ma non troppo (7:13)
4 — IV. Alla danza tedesca: Allegro assai (3:39)
5 — V. Cavatina: Adagio molto espressivo (7:21)
6 — VI. Große Fuge in B-flat Major, Op. 133 (15:37)

Replacement Finale String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130
7 — VI. Finale: Allegro (10:02)

Total playing time CD 7: 59:30

CD 8

String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132
1 — I. Assai sostenuto – Allegro (9:40)
2 — II. Allegro ma non tanto (9:14)
3 — III. Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart: Molto Adagio – Andante (19:40)
4 — IV. Alla marcia, assai vivace (2:15)
5 — V. Allegro appassionato – Presto (6:29)

String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135
6 — I. Allegretto (6:42)
7 — II. Vivace (3:27)
8 — III. Assai lento, cantante e tranquillo (6:46)
9 — IV. Der schwer gefaßte Entschluß: Grave, ma non troppo tratto (Muß es sein?) – Allegro (Es muß sein!) (7:01)

Total playing time CD 8: 71:14

CDs 7 and 8 recorded at Bastyr Chapel, Bastyr University (Kenmore, WA), September 28 – October 6, 2016 (Op. 130, 133, and 135), and October 8–12, 2018 (Op. 132).

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