Beethoven Quartet in A minor, Opus 132

🎼🎶 Wednesday, September 1, 2021
We close our A minor survey with Beethoven’s great masterpiece in A minor: the Opus 132 string quartet. In 1822, at the age of 53, Beethoven received a commission from Prince Nicholas Galitzin of St. Petersburg for “one, two, or three” string quartets. He began work in earnest the following year, and ultimately finished five great quartets plus the “Große Fuge” (originally intended as the finale of Opus 130, but later separated and published on its own, Beethoven composing a new finale for the Opus 130). The so-called “late quartets” occupied Beethoven in the last three years of his life, and definitively moved the string quartet genre from the salons of the wealthy to the concert stage for the edification of all.
Beethoven’s sketches for the Opus 132 show that he had intended a four-movement work. However, in the Spring of 1825 he fell seriously ill, and upon recovering composed a new movement: the “Convalescent’s Holy Song of Thanks to the Divinity”, a deeply-felt hymn which became the centerpiece of the now five-movement quartet. Listen to this intense and tightly-knit performance of the Opus 132:
Beethoven | Streichquartett Nr. 15 in a-moll op. 132 - Esmé Quartet
Beethoven | Streichquartett Nr. 15 in a-moll op. 132 - Esmé Quartet
  • John Scialdone
    published this page in Daily Beethoven 2021-09-01 14:00:24 -0400

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