BEETHOVEN String Quartet No 8 in E minor Op 59
BEETHOVEN String Quartet No 12 in E major Op 127

When the Russian Ambassador Count Razumovsky commissioned Beethoven to write three string quartets in 1805, he instigated an explosion of creativity that expanded the genre in every direction. Composed in 1806, the Op. 59 quartets set a new standard and direction for the genre, making profound demands on the performers and listeners alike with music that simultaneously inhabits multiple musical and psychological levels.

Then in November 1822 Beethoven received a new commission to compose a set of quartets from Prince Nikolas Galitzin. Unlike many of Beethoven’s late string quartets Op. 127 is cast in a traditional four-movement mould and is more tender and introverted than the other works from this period.