The Belcea Quartet performs Beethoven

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The Belcea Quartet performs Beethoven

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Beethoven’s pupil Carl Czerny told a story that when the music of the Razumovsky Quartet No. 1 was first seen by the musicians that were to perform it, they laughed and thought ‘Beethoven was playing a joke and that it was not the piece that had been promised’.

The composer himself is said to have responded to the lead violinist’s complaints about the work’s difficulty by saying ‘Do you think I worry about your wretched fiddle when the spirit speaks to me?’

For this week’s download we’re offering the opening movement from the String Quartet No. 7 in F major, Op. 59, or the first Razumovsky Quartet.

The Belcea Quartet’s recording on Zig Zag was given four stars by our critic Michael Tanner, who said: ‘The chief characteristic of the Belcea Quartet’s playing is, I would say, intensity… This [disc] is a major achievement, and though they will no doubt record these works again, it will always stand as a memorable set.’

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