The String Quartet No. 13
in B major, op.
An Opus number , pl. opera and opuses, abbreviated, sing. Op. and pl. Opp. refers to a number generally assigned by composers to an individual composition or set of compositions on publication, to help identify their works...
130, by Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...
was completed in November 1825. The number traditionally assigned to it is based on the order of its publication; it is actually the fourteenth quartet in order of composition. It was premiered in March 1826 by the Schuppanzigh Quartet and dedicated to Nikolai Galitzin
For Orthodox clergyman and theologian, see Alexander Golitzin.The Galitzines are one of the largest and noblest princely houses of Russia. Since the extinction of the Korecki family in the 17th century, the Golitsyns have claimed dynastic seniority in the House of Gediminas...
on its publication in 1827. Its original form consisted of six movements totalling approximately 50 minutes; they are as follows:
- Adagio, ma non troppo — Allegro
- Andante con moto, ma non troppo. Poco scherzo
A scherzo is a piece of music, often a movement from a larger piece such as a symphony or a sonata. The scherzo's precise definition has varied over the years, but it often refers to a movement which replaces the minuet as the third movement in a four-movement work, such as a symphony, sonata, or...
- Alla danza tedesca. Allegro assai
- Cavatina. Adagio molto espressivo
- Große Fuge (Grande Fugue Op.133): Ouverture. Allegro — Meno mosso e moderato — Allegretto — Fuga. [Allegro] — Meno mosso e moderato — Allegro molto e con brio — Allegro
Nomenclature: "danza tedesca" is a German dance, "Cavatina" a short and simple song, "Große Fuge" is "Great (or Grand) Fugue".
After the first performance of this work, mixed reactions and publisher suggestion convinced Beethoven to substitute a different final movement, much shorter and lighter than the enormous Große Fuge
. This new finale was written between September and November 1826. This movement is marked:
- 6. Finale: Allegro
Beethoven never witnessed the first performance of the quartet in its final form, since this did not happen until April 22, 1827, almost one month after his death.
The original finale was then published separately under the title Große Fuge
as opus 133. Modern performances sometimes follow the composer's original intentions, concluding with the fugue.
Beethoven was quite fond of fugue
In music, a fugue is a compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition....
s in his later years (others can be found in the final movements of the Hammerklavier Sonata, the Ninth Symphony
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...
, and the Piano Sonata No. 31
The Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110, by Ludwig van Beethoven was composed in 1821. It is the central piano sonata in the group of three opp. 109–111 which he wrote between 1820 and 1822, and the thirty-first of his published piano sonatas....
The work is unusual among quartets in being written in six movements. The six follow the cycle of movements seen in the Ninth Symphony and occasionally elsewhere in Beethoven's work (opening, dance movement, slow movement, finale), except that the middle part of the cycle is repeated: opening, dance movement, slow movement, dance movement, slow movement, finale.
The Cavatina (as played by the Budapest String Quartet) was chosen as the last piece to be played on the "golden record
The Voyager Golden Records are phonograph records which were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977. They contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for...
", a phonograph record containing a broad sample of Earth's common sounds, languages, and music sent into outer space with the two Voyager
-Technology:*LG Voyager, a mobile phone model manufactured by LG Electronics*NCR Voyager, a computer platform produced by NCR Corporation*Voyager , a computer worm affecting Oracle databases...
- Performance of the quartet with the Große Fuge by the Orion String Quartet
The Orion String Quartet is a string quartet formed in 1987. It is the quartet-in-residence of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and New York's Mannes College of Music. The members are Todd and Daniel Phillips, brothers who alternate on first and second violin, violist Steven Tenenbom...
from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum or Fenway Court, as the museum was known during Isabella Stewart Gardner's lifetime, is a museum in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, located within walking distance of the Museum of Fine Arts and near the Back Bay Fens...
MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...