Why Beethoven and Walton? Sir William Walton’s Sonata for Strings is a piece that the Amsterdam Sinfonietta has performed with great success both at home and abroad. For this reason we felt that a recording of this work was an obvious choice. It is a powerful composition which gives a string orchestra the opportunity to display all of its discipline, virtuosity, and tone-color. We chose Beethoven’s string quartet op. 135 as a companion piece for this recording because of our admiration for the greatness of this final string quartet. The only other recording of this work to date is the Vienna Philharmonic’s legendary recording of op. 135 in an arrangement for string orchestra, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. In this earlier recording, the work is performed with a very large group of strings, and Beethoven’s composition is realized on a symphonic scale. One important characteristic of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta is that the orchestra is conceived in terms of a string quintet, i.e. a small- scale setting. The orchestra has deliberately remained small in size for the exact purpose of preserving the intimate character of works such as those by Walton or Beethoven. In this way we are able to perform with a maximum of flexibility and articulation. During the recording sessions, attention was devoted not only to the dynamic levels in the score but an effort was also made to give different colors to the various motives. The Amsterdam Sinfonietta strives for the greatest possible expression in this way. Our choice for the combination of these two works is due more to the differences in their musical language than to their similarities…..