String Quartet No. 9 (Beethoven)

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Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 9 in C major was published in 1808 as opus 59, no. 3. It consists of four movements:

  1. Andante con moto - Allegro vivace (C major)
  2. Andante con moto quasi allegretto (A minor)
  3. Menuetto (Grazioso) (C major)
  4. Allegro molto (C major)

This work is the last of three quartets commissioned by prince Andrey Razumovsky, then the Russian ambassador to Vienna.


All of the above performed in 1933 by the Busch Quartet

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The introductory Andante con moto section of the first movement is not directly related to the rest of the movement and serves a similar function to the introduction of his Op. 74 quartet. Thereafter, the movement's main thematic material is exposed and developed. The quartet's second movement makes use of an augmented second in the descending scale first played by the first violin at the beginning of the movement. This interval, repeated through the movement, gives it an association with the Hungarian scale. The quartet's third movement is a lighter Menuetto which provides the motif that is subsequently turned upside down for the last movement, an Allegro molto that begins with the viola and adds the second violin, cello and first violin in that order for a rousing finale.

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