Beethoven apparently once described himself as a new Bacchus. So he’d surely have approved of the winery in Napa Valley which – we learn in the booklet to this release from the Calder Quartet – produces a wine named after the Arietta from his Op 111 Piano Sonata. This (presumably excellent) tipple is the principal inspiration for Anders Hillborg’s Kongsgaard Variations, which the Calder Quartet have placed between Beethoven’s most backward-looking early quartet and his most forward-looking late one…

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Eric Byers