Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search

Beethoven's compositional development embodied a sustained revolution in the forms inherited from his predecessors, notably Haydn and Mozart. He expanded these almost to bursting-point, introducing innovation after innovation as he grew older. His string quartets clearly exemplify this, with the monumental Grosse Fuge one of his final statements in the genre. In combining this work with some of Beethoven's neglected compositions in the genre, The Fine Arts Quartet's latest release for Naxos is as intriguing as it is entertaining.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)
Fugues and Rarities for String Quartet
Grosse Fuge • Preludes and Fugues

Fine Arts Quartet

The string quartets of Beethoven are among the greatest works of their kind, but he composed other works for quartet which have been neglected. This album is dedicated to these intriguing rarities. Alongside the wild and monumental Grosse Fuge, in many ways the culmination of Beethoven’s achievements in the string quartet genre, this recording further displays his mastery of counterpoint by bringing to light brilliant yet forgotten original versions of his quartets Op. 18, No. 1 and Op. 131, plus six virtually unknown miniatures, including his Preludes and Fugues.

Listen to an extract from the first version of
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 18, No. 1:
IV. Allegretto
Listen to the Menuett in A flat major
About the Artists
The Fine Arts Quartet, ‘one of the gold-plated names in chamber music’ (Washington Post), ranks among the most distinguished ensembles in chamber music today, with an illustrious history of performing success and an extensive legacy of over 200 recorded works. Founded in Chicago in 1946, the quartet is one of the elite few to have recorded and toured internationally for well over a half-century. For more information on the Fine Arts Quartet, including a complete discography, please visit:
More recordings featuring The Fine Arts Quartet
‘... fully sympathetic and technically exquisite performances ...
engaging and revelatory.’
Piano Quintets

Fine Arts Quartet • Ortiz
‘Ideally balanced and recorded ... warmly affectionate, fluent and musicianly to the core ... these are outstanding readings.’
‘... stylish and invigorating and
well worth hearing.’
‘A gripping performance of Saint-Saëns’ Piano Quartet, sparkling account of the early Piano Quintet and sublime Barcarolle make a superlative disc from the Fine Arts Quartet and Cristina Ortiz.’
BBC Music Magazine

View our special weekly features:
View all Features »


Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group