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String Quartet No. 7 in F Major, Op. 59. No. 1
String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130, with Op. 133 “Grosse Fuge”
Our Beethoven Series closes with three celebrated works from the master’s middle and late periods. After this season, the Takács Quartet will no longer perform the Beethoven quartet cycle in its entirety, so this performance marks a final farewell bow for the legendary interpreters, who “play the Beethoven repertoire better than any quartet past or present” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer). The evening begins with the great “Razumovsky” Quartet Op. 59, No. 1. The piece marks Beethoven’s first foray into chamber music’s more expansive forms, setting the stage for later explorations. After intermission, they bring us the Quartet Op. 130, including the original last movement, the notorious "Grosse Fuge," which was so poorly received (“an indecipherable horror”) upon its premiere that Beethoven hastily replaced it with a more digestible Finale. But the bold and dense fugue is now considered a groundbreaking achievement—Stravinsky famously called it “an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever.”
- The Guardian (London)
“The consummate artistry of the Takács is simply breathtaking.”
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