[UCP Books]: Beethoven for a Later Age: Living with the String Quartets
“A richly detailed portrayal of the intimate workings of a great string quartet, in this case the magical Takács, as revealed to us through the recollections of its first violinist. Fascinating, certainly to someone working in another artistic realm entirely.”–Philip Roth
Living with the String Quartets
Publication: May 6, 2016 / Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0-226-37436-9 / $30.00
To perform as a member of a large orchestra means to let democracy rule musical expression—the conductor leads an approach that the collective adapts. But how does this change when the group is much smaller, such as in a quartet, where each player has individual ideas about style and expression? To answer this question, Edward Dusinberre, first violinist of the renowned Takács Quartet, offers a rare peek inside the workings of the Quartet, while providing an insightful performance history of Beethoven’s sixteen renowned string quartets.
The Takács, originally founded in Hungary and now based in Boulder, Colorado, is one of the world’s preeminent string quartets, and performances of Beethoven have been at the center of their work together for over forty years. Using the history of both the Takács Quartet and the Beethoven quartets as a foundation, Beethoven for a Later Age provides a backstage look at the daily life of a quartet, vividly showing the necessary creative tension between individual and group and how four people can at the same time forge a lasting artistic connection and enjoy making music together over decades. The key, Dusinberre reveals, to a quartet crafting its own sound is in balancing continuity with change and experimentation—a theme that lies at the heart of Beethoven’s remarkable compositions. In an accessible style, suitable for novices and chamber music enthusiasts alike, Dusinberre illuminates the variety and contradictions of Beethoven's quartets, which were composed against the turbulent backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath, and he brings the technical aspects of the music to life.
Edward Dusinberre has been the first violinist of Takács Quartet since 1993, and he is an artist-in-residence at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is available for interviews.
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