Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet
The Takács is one of the world's pre-eminent string quartets. Performances of Beethoven have shaped their work together for over forty years. Using the history of both the Takács Quartet and the Beethoven quartets as the backbone to his story, Edward Dusinberre, first violinist of the Takács since 1993, recounts the exhilarating challenge of tackling these pieces. Beethoven for a Later Age takes the reader inside the daily life of a quartet, vividly showing the necessary creative tension between individual and group expression and how four people can enjoy making music together over a long period of time.
The key, the author argues, is in balancing continuity with change and experimentation - a theme that lies at the heart of Beethoven's remarkable compositions. No other composer has posed so many questions about the form and emotional content of a string quartet, and come up with so many different answers. In an accessible style, suitable for novices and chamber music enthusiasts alike, Dusinberre illuminates the variety and inherent contradictions of Beethoven's quartets, composed against the turbulent backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath, and shows that engaging with this radical music continues to be as invigorating now as it was for its first performers and audiences.
The essential read for fans of Beethoven and string quartet music.
Edward Dusinberre is first violinist of the world-renowned Takacs Quartet. The Takacs' recordings of Beethoven's string quartets, released on the Decca label and widely considered one of the most significant recent recordings of the repertoire, have earned numerous awards world-wide, including a Grammy, two Gramophone Awards, and BBC Music Magazine's 'CD of the Year'. They will perform complete cycles of the Beethoven quartets in the USA and London in the 2016/17 season. Dusinberre is Artist-in-Residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.