Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung on 27 February 1807:
"Three new, very long and difficult Beethoven string quartets … are attracting the attention of all connoisseurs. The conception is profound and the
construction excellent, but they are not easily comprehended."
It is always a welcome event when the pioneering, American spirit explores and conquers uncharted territory. It's the thing legends are made of. Derek "D-day" Kendall's new album is no exception. Titled, Opus 59; The Razumovsy Files, it is a departure from the "standard" arrangement and performance of Beethoven's middle period string quartets.
D-day performs, what normally is an arrangement for 2 violins a viola and cello, all four parts on concert acoustic guitar.
"With the exception of some of the violin passages that play above the high C on the guitar, my arrangements are pretty much true to form," the veteran guitarist remarked. "These pieces transpose to guitar seamlessly, and voice very well when performed."
D-day, who not only performs all of the parts of the entirety of Ludwig Van Beethoven's Opus 59 string quartets, he has also brought, as producer, a uniquely modern flavor to the individual parts.
"When Ludwig Van wrote these works for Count Andreas Razumovsky, music had just evolved greatly for composers from the introduction of new keyboard mechanics and the piano where before, unless you had an entire ensemble at your constant beckon call, composing was done the "old fashioned way", In your head. The advent of the keyboard meant composers could play out all of the various parts together, kind of like olden day real time. and I feal that if Beethoven were here today, he would take advantage of modern recording techniques, as well.
When asked to elaborate, D-day points out that he produced each of the parts with the tone and timbre fitting each parts range and purpose and that sometimes different effects were used for various passages with respect to the genre's time period.
"There are, for instance, a couple of places where I added a voice or two of chorus to the guitar to get an almost harpsichord quality. The Idea was to not just have four identical guitar sounds for all of the parts"