Beethoven’s Birthday

How’s this for a statement: Opus 131, the String Quartet No. 14 in C-Minor, is the greatest of Beethoven’s 16 string quartets.

Fighting words, eh? Actually, I have no idea if it’s true. But I trust the source — Beethoven himself, according to a post on Chamber Musician Today.

It’s certainly an unusual looking quartet, with seven movements, including one of about 50 seconds followed by another of about 14 minutes.

For most of my life, I’ve known what date Beethoven’s birthday is — learned it before knowingly hearing a note of his music, actually — but I’ve never celebrated by actually giving his stuff a spin. Maybe I’ll do that today, starting with this Opus 131.

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