Raymond Bisha introduces a selection from the rich and varied catalogue of chamber works that Beethoven wrote throughout his life. It includes the ‘Archduke’ piano trio, examples of his violin and cello sonatas, and extracts from both his Octet for Wind Instruments and the Septet in E flat major, Op. 20, a work so popular that Beethoven himself arranged it in a trio version, no doubt to make it more accessible to a wider public eager to perform it. Beethoven wrote 16 string quartets over a period of 25 years, one of his greatest contributions to music that continuously changed and challenged what was thought possible in the medium, including the Gross Fuge, an intensely powerful work that Stravinsky declared “will be contemporary for ever.”
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