Wednesday, September 8, 2010

9/8 String Quartet Op. 59 No 3 (Razumovsky #3)

String Quartet Op. 59 No 3 (1806)

Here's another one of B's "Heroic Period" string quartets, his ninth string quartet overall and third one written for Count Razumovsky.  The Count was a cellist and was big fan of B's music.  To have an exclusive quartet written for one's own concert was quite a status symbol.  Kind of as if Wynton Marsalis wrote a saxophone concerto for Bill Cllinton whle he was governor of Arkansas.  Sadly the Count lost almost everything he owned of value in a fire after a late night party, and died a palper.
Andrey/Andriy Razumovsky, [1752-1836] became the Russian Ambassador to the Austro-Hungarian Court in Vienna from 1790. There he also became one of Beethoven's close friends and converted to Catholicism. In honor of this association, Beethoven incorporated some Ukrainian melodies, which would have been traditionally played on torbans, into a number of his chamber works, notably the "Razumovsky" quartets. Andriy had 3 torbans in his collection. One of them is still preserved in Vienna. (

Here's an animated score sample with autograph

You can peruse the FULL 58 PG. MANUSCRIPT or read the commentary article from the Beethoven Digital Archive in Bonn.  You can even buy a copy for a mere 358 euros ($458).  Christmas is just around the corner.....

Oh yeah, you may want to listen to an actual recording of this quartet (bravo if you can follow with the autograph score!):
(The Orion String Quartet)

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