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Beethoven took forward the string quartet genre like no other composer before and after him. For all subsequent composers who had dealt with it, Beethoven's creations were benchmarks. The intensive and homogeneous sound and form structure of his pieces, bordering on symphonical one, as well as their high technical demands were revolutionary and even discouraging at the time.
Today we hear the second of the three quartets commissioned by the Russian diplomat Andrey Kirillovich Razumovsky, music lover and Beethoven's patron. The composition for quartet written by Anton Webern builds a contrasting comparison to Beethoven's work. In this early Webern´s piece the reminiscences of Brahms´ music can be embraced – Brahms, who in turn took Beethoven as his great model.
Quartetto di Cremona, founded in the Italian city of Cremona in 2000, now ranks as one of the world´s best string quartet ensembles. It includes Cristiano Gualco and Paolo Andreoli on violins, Simone Gramaglia on viola and Giovanni Scaglione on cello. The musicians became famous through their remarkable performance of all string quartets by Ludwig van Beethoven. All members of the ensemble play valuable historical instruments provided by the Kulturfond Peter Eckes foundation.
Ludwig van Beethoven
String quartet No. 8 in E minor, op. 59, No. 2 “Razumovskiy-Quartet“ (1806)
II. Molto Adagio. Si tratta questo pezzo con molto di sentimento
III. Allegretto-Maggiore Thème russe
IV. Finale: Presto - Più presto
Langsamer Satz (Slow Movement) for string quartet - Langsam, mit bewegtem Ausdruck (1905)