In 1827, when writing his Quartet in A minor, Op.13, the 18-year-old Felix Mendelssohn was especially interested in Beethovens late quartets at a time when these works were generally written off as confused fantasies of a deaf musician. Mendelssohn's debt to Beethoven is evident in the important role of polyphonic techniques, particularly in the focus on cyclical connections between movements. Ten years on, Mendelssohn composed the three quartets, Op. 44, the D major quartet that closes the present disc the last of these to be completed; on publication, however, Mendelssohn placed it first in the set. Besides the seven complete quartets, Mendelssohn also wrote four individual string quartet movements. These were gathered together and published posthumously as op. 81, and on this second volume of their complete Mendelssohn cycle the Escher Quartet perform two of these pieces, both conceived in August 1847, shortly before the composers death.
With her marriage on the rocks and looking for a fresh start, Carole King moved to Los Angeles in 1967. More specifically, Laurel Canyon, where she fell in with the nascent singer/songwriter crowd. She and bassist/boyfriend Charles Larkey (formerly of the Myddle Class, a band she and then-husband Gerry Goffin had signed to their record label) soon formed a band, adding old friend from NYC, guitarist Danny Kortchmar. The trio spent time at King's house working on a batch of songs she had written with Goffin (some previously released by other acts, some not), plus some co-written by another member of Myddle Class, Don Palmer, and fellow Brill Building refugee Toni Stern. Thanks to their industry connections it wasn't long before they had a record deal. Adding drummer Jim Gordon and naming themselves the City, they hit the studio with Lou Adler producing. The outcome of the sessions was the thoroughly charming Now That Everything's Been Said LP. Released in 1968 on Ode Records, the album had one foot in the kind of radio pop bands like the Monkees and the Mamas & the Papas were cranking out and another in the earthy, homegrown realm of singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and, a few years later, King herself.