The Economist praises Dusinberre’s “fascinating book”
By Peter Alexander
The Economist, the weekly newsmagazine published in London, has published an article—it is more a description of the book and its subject than a review—about Takács Quartet first violinist Edward Dusinberre’s new book on the Beethoven string quartets.
The Tákacs is the quartet-in-residence at the University of Colorado, Boulder College of Music; Dusinberre and the other members are Ralph E. and Barbara L. Christoffersen Faculty Fellows.
Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet was published in England by Faber & Faber and will be published in the U.S. by the University of Chicago Press in May. “Mr Dusinberre is the lead violinist of the Takács Quartet, one of the world’s most highly regarded string ensembles, and he has written a fascinating book about the musical life of this group of players,” the publication states in the unsigned article.
“Interwoven with that is the story of Beethoven’s 16 string quartets, works of extraordinary power written over a quarter-century that moved the genre on from the earlier masters and are now regarded as the apogee of the chamber-music repertoire.” (Read the full article in The Economist.)
Like most books today, Beethoven for a Later Age has already attracted a number of celebrity blurbs and reviews. For example, pianist Garrick Ohlsson comments, “Dusinberre brilliantly spans Beethoven’s life, works, and the real issues of music making for his contemporaries into our time—via the working process of a great modern quartet living with Beethoven’s creations in the twenty-first century.”
Writing in the The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen points out that Dusinberre intends to do more than elucidate the music. “Dusinberre’s second, and perhaps more daring, aim is to reveal something of the personal dynamics of the Takács Quartet itself, generally ranked as one of the two or three finest quartets active in the world today,” he writes.
“The glimpse Dusinberre gives us of their working is fascinating, but the alchemy that makes the Takács perform as sublimely as it does remains a mystery.”
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Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet. By Edward Dusinberre. 232 pages, 14 line drawings. Faber & Faber; £18.99. To be published in America by University of Chicago Press in May; $30. ISBN: 9780226374369; an e-book edition will also be published.