Thursday, March 25, 2021
Just a year after the Opus 59 "Razumovsky Quartets", Beethoven composed his first standalone quartet, Opus 74, nicknamed "The Harp" for its plucked arpeggios in the first movement.
This is a buoyant and optimistic work, made more poignant if one considers the circumstances of that moment - the invasion of Vienna earlier that year followed by the death of Haydn a few weeks later. Surely, Beethoven was composing to remind his contemporaries and the future of the true nature of mankind - joyful and creative.
Listen to this wonderful 1960 performance by the Amadeus Quartet: https://youtu.be/n-slC-iVWCs