Less lack of imagination than ever before
With rare humility, Beethoven thus described what had gone into the last of his major compositions: the five late String Quartets and the ' Grosse Fuge. '
This week BBC2 is showing the complete cycle on five consecutive evenings. As an introduction to the series Robert Simpson suggests the remarkable variety, beauty and force in these quartets, and in particular looks at the B flat Quartet, Op 130.
Excerpts from the complete performances played by The Aeolian Quartet
EMANUEL HURWITZ (violin)
RAYMOND KEENLYSIDE (violin) MARGARET MAJOR (viola) DEREK SIMPSON (cello) at Heveningham Hall, Suffolk Pianist BERNARD ROBERTS
Designer TONY SNOADEN Graphics ADRIAN PURKIS
Lighting ERIC WALLIS. SAM BRANTER Sound ADRIAN STOCKS, JEFF BAKER Producer RODNEY GREENBERG
Tomorrow at 10.20: Quartet in E flat, Op 127
A BBC Music Guide on Beethoven's Quartets, by Basil Lam , is in preparation