• Beethoven's Greatest Quartet

    On November 3, the Brentano String Quartet performs Haydn's String Quartet in F Major, Op. 77, No. 2, the New York Premiere of Stephen Hartke's Night Songs for a Desert Flower (Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall), and Beethoven's String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131.

    Composed between 1825 and 1826, Beethoven's String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131, received its first Carnegie Hall performance in the Chamber Music Hall (now Weill Recital Hall) less than a year after the opening of the Hall on January 3, 1892, with the New York Symphony String Quartet (Adolph Brodsky and Jules Conus, violins; Jan Koert, viola; and Anton Hekking, cello).

    Beethoven considered Op. 131 the greatest of his 16 quartets. Although much has been written about its unconventional seven-part structure and abstruse tonal relationships, the music’s robust lyricism and emotional intensity have never failed to draw listeners into its unforgettable sound world. One of the quartet's admirers was Franz Schubert, who is said to have requested a performance on his deathbed.

    Excerpt from Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp Minor Op. 131 (VII. Allegro)
    Takàcs Quartet