Variations 27th March – "Five Greats by Five Greats"

Written by on March 26, 2011

 This week’s show is called Five Greats by Five Greats.  In this show I’m going to be playing music from Beethoven’s Late String Quartets which are the 5 quartets composed in 1825 and 1826 towards the very end of Beethoven life. In fact, after completing the Ninth Symphony in early 1824, Beethoven spent the two and a half years that remained to him almost exclusively in the medium of the string quartet. For many musicologists, the five late string quartets contain Beethoven’s greatest music and are at the very pinnacle of string quartet music – hence the first “great” in the name of my theme, the second “great” in my theme refers to the 5 String Quartet ensembles that I’ve selected as performers of these works.  The late quartet have been played and recorded by most of the great string quartet ensembles in history and during the show you’re going to hear extracts from recordings that span the last 50 or 60 years.

Quartet Ensemble


Quartetto Italiano

Quartet #12 In E Flat, Op. 127 – 1. Maestoso, Allegro

Alban Berg Quartet

Quartet no 15 op. 132 ~ Molto adagio (A convalescent’s hymn of thanksgiving in the Lydian mode)

Budapest String Quartet

Quartet No.13  Op.130 ~ V. Cavatina. Adagio molto espressivo

Takács Quartet

Quartet #14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 131 – 4. Andante, Ma Non Troppo E Molto Cantabile

Quatuor Vegh

Quartet no. 16 Op135 – 1 – Allegretto

String Orchestra Arrangement: Leonard Bernstein

Quartet no. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 – VII.Allegro


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