In the Studio: The Fine Arts Quartet records Beethoven

Recording sessions for The Fine Arts Quartet’s sixteenth Naxos production took place in Germany at the Christuskirche, Berlin-Oberschöneweide from 26 to 29 November 2018. The all-Beethoven programme, scheduled for release in 2019, has the monumental Grosse Fuge as its centrepiece, complemented by an intriguing group of rarities: Beethoven’s brilliant, yet forgotten original versions of his quartets Op. 18, No. 1 and Op. 131, plus a number of miniatures, including his virtually unknown Preludes and Fugues.

Founded in Chicago in 1946, the internationally renowned Fine Arts Quartet (violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico, violist Gil Sharon, cellist Niklas Schmidt) celebrated its 72nd anniversary this year, continuing to live up to its reputation as “One of the gold-plated names in chamber music.” (Washington Post)

The ensemble made its first recording for Naxos in 2006. Featuring Robert Schumann’s 3 String Quartets, Op. 41, it received the American Record Guide’s “Critic’s Choice” award and was described as “One of the very finest chamber-music recordings of the year.” From that auspicious beginning, a happy association between artists and label has continued to produce a steady stream of acclaimed performances of eclectic chamber works.

Fine Arts Quartet background and Naxos discography