The String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Opus 11, was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's first completed string quartet of three string quartets, published during his lifetime. (An earlier attempt had been abandoned after the first movement had been completed.) Composed in February 1871, it was premiered in Moscow on 16/28 March 1871 by four members of the Russian Musical Society: Ferdinand Laub and Ludvig Minkus, violins; Pryanishnikov, viola; and Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, cello.
The Orford String Quartet was a Canadian string quartet active from 1965 through 1991. They came to be the leading string quartet in Canada, and one of the finest in the world. For 26 years, the Orford String Quartet was the best of its breed in Canada.
This is a very complete set indeed. It includes all the quartets in the latest edition prepared by Jonathan Del Mar which restores many important markings by Beethoven and which has been done in collaboration with the Endellion Quartet. Both versions of the first quartet or included as well as Beethoven's quartet arrangement of the piano sonata Op. 14 no. 1. the Gross Fuge, both string quintets plus other works for string quartet including the two prelude and fugues.
The Julliard String Quartet does a magnificent job of presenting Beethoven's material in a technically perfect performance. To a student, this would be the place to start. Classical music walks a tightrope between precision and passion. This recording by the Julliard String Quartet is the best combination of skill, sound, and material.
Never have I heard the extraordinary and even 'strange' or 'otherworldly' character of the late Beethoven string quartets better than in the performance of the Julliard Quartet. They perfectly caption what could not be better described then as the revolution in the writing of string quartets that these late quartets represent. One could even say that some passages lay a bomb under the expectations of contemporary listereners and even now could almost shock you. So powerful and profound is this music while only using the modest means of four string instruments. Away with civilised chitchat, away with certainty! Here comes Beethoven!
The Juilliard String Quartet is a classical music string quartet founded in 1946 at the Juilliard School in New York by William Schuman. The original members were violinists Robert Mann and Robert Koff, violist Raphael Hillyer, and cellist Arthur Winograd; Current members are Joseph Lin and Ronald Copes violinists, violist Roger Tapping, and cellist Astrid Schween. In 2010 Nick Eanet resigned from the Quartet because of health issues and was replaced by Joseph Lin in 2011.