The Cypress String Quartet announces that AVIE Records will release the group’s recording of Beethoven’s Early Quartets on May 6, 2016. The album was recorded at Skywalker Sound by Mark Willsher and produced by Cecily Ward. The Cypress String Quartet completes its cycle of the genre’s greatest oeuvre with this 2-CD set of Beethoven’s six groundbreaking quartets, Op. 18, alongside a reissue of its 2012 self-released recording of Beethoven’s Late Quartets. The Cypress’ recording of the Middle Quartets was released in 2014 on AVIE Records.
For the past several seasons, the Cypress String Quartet has immersed itself in performing Beethoven on tours throughout the United States and Europe as well as recording all 16 works plus the “Grande Fugue” (Große Fuge). The completion of the Beethoven cycle recording is a fitting celebration of the Bay Area-based ensemble’s 20th anniversary as well as the group’s valedictory season: the Cypress String Quartet’s final performance will take place in June 2016, preceded by a Beethoven celebration performing all of the quartets throughout the city of San Francisco in May.
Of the recording of the Late Quartets, Gramophone reported, “The Cypress players are seamless conversationalists who take Beethoven at his word but aren’t afraid to place keenly dramatic and subtle stamps on the music.” The New York Times praised the “rich tone, crisp ensemble work and expressive nuance” of the Middle Quartets.