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Cellist Raphael Wallfisch and violinist Sara Bitlloch join Donald Macleod to talk about Beethoven's return to lyrical melody in the years around 1800.

This week cellist Raphael Wallfisch and violinist Sara Bitlloch join Donald Macleod to talk about Beethoven’s early chamber music from 1795 to 1811, including beloved works such as the ‘Razumovsky’ quartets, the ‘Kreutzer’ violin sonata, and the ‘Ghost’ and ‘Archduke’ piano trios.

Beethoven’s composing career is generally divided into three phases: the Early Period, up to 1802; the compositions that make up his Middle Period, the years from 1803 to 1814; and lastly the extraordinary, ambitious works composed between then and his death.

Today we look at Beethoven’s return to lyrical melody in the years around 1800, and hear music including the ‘Harp’ Quartet, the Opus 70 Piano Trio, the third “Razumovsky” String Quartet, and the “Spring” Violin Sonata, containing one of the most famous melodies in Beethoven’s chamber music output.

String Quartet in C major Op 59 No 3 (“Razumovsky”) (1st movement)
Takács Quartet

Piano Trio No 5 in D major Op 70 No 1 ("Ghost") (2nd movement)
Andreas Staier fortepiano
Daniel Sepec, violin
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello

Violin Sonata No 5 in F major Op 24 ("Spring") (1st and 4th movements)
Isabelle Faust, violin
Alexander Melnikov, piano

String Quartet in E flat Op 74 (“Harp”) (1st movement)
Lindsay Quartet

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales

18 days left to listen

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in C major, Op 59 No 3 (Rasumovsky) (1st movement)

    Ensemble: Takács Quartet.
    • Decca 470 847-2.
    • Decca.
    • 5.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Trio in D major, Op 70 No 1 (Ghost) (2nd movement)

    Performer: Andreas Staier. Performer: Daniel Sepec. Performer: Jean‐Guihen Queyras.
    • Harmonia Mundi Gold HMG 508398.99.
    • Harmonia Mundi Gold.
    • 2.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Sonata in F major, Op 24 (Spring) (1st and 4th movements)

    Performer: Isabelle Faust. Performer: Alexander Melnikov.
    • Harmonia Mundi HMC 902025.27.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 4.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in E flat major, Op 74 (Harp) (1st movement)

    Ensemble: Lindsay String Quartet.
    • ASV : CD DCA-1115.
    • ASV.
    • 1.

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