GWENYTH MISSELBROOKE (Pianoforte)
THE STRATTON STRING QUARTET:
GEORGE STRATTON (1st Violin) ; WILLIAM MANUEL (2nd Violin) ; LAURENCE LEONARD (Viola) ; JOHN MOORE
NOBODY had much chance of patronizing Beethoven-patronizing, that is, in the sense of condescension.' He was a proud, independent soul, fierily resentful of anything like patronage. But though he refused to follow precedent by becoming a Court official, and poured violent scorn on any man who offended him in the slightest (and on a good many who didn't), yet he had many true patrons among the nobility-Princes and Counts who continually helped him, and at whose houses he was frequently a guest.
One of the chief among these was
Prince von Razoumovsky, the Russian Ambassador at Vienna during many years. This nobleman formed a String Quartet which he supported, and which became famous. To him Beethoven, then in his prime, dedicated three of his finest String Quartets, of which this is one.
There are four Movements : (I) Slow (a mysterious Introduction whose long-sustained shifting harmonies hold us in prolonged suspense), then Quick; (2) Rather slow, in a gracious, singing style ; (3) Minuet; (4) Very fast.
IT was after taking part in a performance of this and other Quartets by Mozart with the composer Dittersdorf and a violoncellist friend, that Haydn said to Mozart's father, ' I assure you solemnly and as an honest man that I consider your son to be the greatest composer of whom I have ever heard.'
The Quartet is in four Movements : (1) Slow, then Quick ; (2) Slow, in a singing style ; (3) Minuet; (4) Very quick.