Beethoven’s Chamber Music in Context

Beethoven’s Chamber Music in Context
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Angus Watson
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This comprehensive survey shows how the larger scale works relate to Beethoven's chamber music and how the composer evolved an increasing freedom of form.
Watson provides professional and amateur musicians, and music lovers generally, with a complete survey of Beethoven's chamber music and the background to each individual work - the loyalty of patrons, musicians and friends on theone hand; increasing deafness and uncertain health on the other. Attention is paid to the influence of such large-scale compositions as the Eroica Symphony and
Fidelio on the chamber music of his middle years and the
Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony on his late quartets. The author examines Beethoven's ever-increasing freedom of form - largely a result of his mastery of improvisation and a powerful symbol of the fusion of classical discipline with the subversive spirit of romantic adventure which characterises his mature music.

Beethoven's friends were not shy about asking him what his music meant, or what inspired him, and it is clear that he attached the greatest importance to the words he used when describing the character of his compositions. 'The tempo is more like the body,' he wrote when commending Malzel's invention of the metronome, 'but these indications of character certainly refer to the spirit.'

ANGUS WATSON, a violinist and conductor, has been Director of Music at Stowe School, Winchester College and Wells Cathedral School, one of Britain's specialist music schools. From 1984-1989 he was Dean of Music at the newly founded Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
Foreword by David Cairns

Arrival and Re-launch in Vienna [1792]

Beethoven, Pianist and String Player

Amateurs, Patrons and Professionals

'The Spirit of the Composition'

Three Piano Trios, op.1 [1793-1795]

Two Sonatas for Cello and Piano, op. 5 [1796]

Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano, op. 12 [1797-1798]

Five String Trios, op. 3, op. 8 [Serenade], op. 9 [1794?-1798]

Chamber Music for Wind, Strings and Piano [1795?-1799], Piano and Wind Quintet/Piano Quartet, op. 16, Clarinet Trio, op. 11, Septet, op. 20, Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola, op. 25

Six String Quartets, op. 18 [1798-1800]

Two Sonatas for Violin and Piano, op. 23 and op. 24 [1800-1801]

String Quintet in C major, op. 29 [1801]

Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano, op. 30 [1802]

Sonata no. 9 for Violin and Piano, op. 47,
Kreutzer [1802-3]

In the wake of
Fidelio [1804-1806]

Three String Quartets, op. 59
Razumovsky [1806]

Sonata no. 3 in A major for Cello and Piano, op. 69 [1807-1808]

Two Piano Trios, op. 70 [1808]

String Quartet no. 10 in Eb major, op. 74
Harp [1809]

String Quartet no. 11 in F minor, op. 95,
Quartetto Serioso [1810]

Piano Trio no. 7 in Bb major, op. 97
Archduke [1810]

Sonata no. 10 for Violin and Piano in G major, op. 96 [1812]

Two Sonatas for Cello and Piano, op. 102 [1815]

The Late String Quartets - Background and Context

String Quartet no. 12 in E flat major, op. 127 [1824-25]

String Quartet no. 13 in A minor, op. 132 [1825]

String Quartet no. 14 in B flat major, op. 130 [1825-26]

Grosse Fuge, op. 133 [1825-26]

String Quartet no. 15 in C sharp minor, op. 131 [1826]

String Quartet no. 16 in F major, op. 135 [1826]

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