Brodsky Quartet: Beethoven - String Quartets Op. 59 Nos 2 & 3

An under-par performance from the Brodsky Quartet, performing Beethoven's middle period quartets.

Composer: Beethoven
Repertoire: String Quartets Op.59 Nos 2&3, ‘Rasumovsky’
Artists: Brodsky Quartet
Rating: 2/5

Genre: Instrumental

Label: Brodsky Records BRD 3502

Beethoven’s middle-period Op.59 quartets are near-contemporaries of his ‘Eroica’ Symphony and audaciously transfer symphonic ambition to chamber music. The Brodsky Quartet attempts to bring an epic perspective to Beethoven’s structural arches, although a notable lack of physicality and the occasional wobble of ensemble becomes increasingly troublesome. The conversational flavour of the opening of No.2 is cogently judged, while the long Adagio movement is dramatically sustained over its extended 12-minute duration. But Quartet No.3 is a particular disappointment; Beethoven’s mysteriously terraced dynamics in the opening moments are compromised and the fiery finale merely tickles rather than stings.