Beethoven String Quartet no. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no. 2

Beethoven's String Quartet no. 8, was the second of three of his "Razumovsky" cycle of string quartets, and a product of his "middle" period. He published it in 1808. The third movement uses a Russian theme also used by Mussorgsky in Boris Godunov and by Rachmaninoff in his 6 Morceaux, Op. 11. The original song, Glory to the Sun, was published in 1790. Beethoven, however, used it in an ungentle way. According to Kerman, "It sounds as though Count Razumovsky had been tactless enough to hand Beethoven the tune, and Beethoven is pile-driving it into the ground by way of revenge." Pportions of the tune with strong tonic harmonic leanings are harmonized with the dominant, and vice versa; many listeners have found this portion of the quartet to be quite amusing, especially as contrasted with the "exercise-book" counterpoint which precedes it (another example of counterpoint exercise parody can be found in the scherzo of the Quartet No. 10)
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Sheet Music

Recordings

Beethoven - Quartet No.8 in E minor, Op.59, No.2 - I. Allegro
Beethoven - Quartet No.8 in E minor, Op.59, No.2 - II. Molto adagio
Beethoven - Quartet No.8 in E minor, Op.59, No.2 - III. Allegratto
Beethoven - Quartet No.8 in E minor, Op.59, No.2 - IV. Presto
Beethoven - Quartet No.8 in E minor, Op.59, No.2 - Complete Performance

Samples

String Quartet no. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no. 2
String Quartet no. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no. 2
String Quartet no. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no. 2
String Quartet no. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no. 2
String Quartet no. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no. 2

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