Beethoven was not afraid to stir the waters. In the First “Razumovsky” Quartet, he broke convention in a chamber work that was more expansive and technically challenging than any heard before. It’s also notable for its melodic beauty and quote of a Russian folk theme in its exuberant finale. The lukewarm response by the premiere audience to the magnificent Grosse Fuge resulted in some scalding vitriol from the composer. Time has vindicated him; this epic journey to new musical frontiers remains one of his enduring masterpieces.