BEETHOVEN String Quartet No 13 Op 130 with Große Fuge

Beethoven’s last string quartets were composed during the final years of his life between 1824 and 1826. The project began in 1822 with a commission from Prince Nikolas Galitzin, and resulted in five string quartets that are now referred to as the “Late Quartets”. Beethoven originally composed the Große Fuge as the last movement for his String Quartet Op. 130.

He replaced this movement at the request of his publisher because they felt the fugue’s epic character didn’t match the work’s other movements. Though he bowed to their wishes, Beethoven probably never accepted their judgement and almost certainly preferred the original version as presented in this recital.