The three-disc set of Beethoven’s Quartets No. 12-16was recorded to celebrate the Calidore String Quartet’s first decade as an ensemble, coinciding with the 250thAnniversary of Beethoven’s birth.
Amidst the backdrop of an international pandemic and a pause on live concerts, the Calidore String Quartet embarked upon their most ambitious recording project to date, capturing their journey through the entire Beethoven String Quartet cycle. The first release, The Late Quartets, released in February 2023 precedes the Calidores performance of the entire cycle in Summer 2023 at the Music@Menlo Festival in California.
BBC Music Magazine’s Five Star review of The Late Quartets asserts that the op. 133 Große Fuge has never been “done with greater clarity or precision” and that the whole album “produced performances that can stand comparison with the best”. Subsequent album releases of the cycle and significant performances of the cycle to be announced in the coming seasons.
The three-disc set marks the first installment of the Calidore’s full Beethoven cycle to be released on Signum over the next three years. It has been twelve years since friends Jeffrey Myers (violin), Ryan Meehan (violin), Jeremy Berry (viola), and Estelle Choi (cello) formed the Calidore String Quartet while students at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. As their first decade of performing together coincided with the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the chamber ensemble embarked on a tour to perform the complete cycle of the composer’s sixteen string quartets in Los Angeles, Toronto, Buffalo and the University of Delaware.
“Performing the Beethoven cycle is the musical equivalent of scaling Mount Everest,”
— Ryan Meehan
“It is a grueling nine hours of music comprised of some of the most technically intricate and emotionally demanding music ever conceived, to which we have dedicated much of our studying and performing since the quartet’s inception.”
“This recording serves as a snapshot of our twelve years of working, growing, listening and collaborating with one another. Though this music speaks in a language that is hundreds of years old, its message remains immediate, relevant and comforting to listeners of today and of generations to come even, and especially in the most challenging of times.”