Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Nationality: German
Baptized: December 17, 1770, Bonn Died: March 26, 1827, Vienna (age 56)

String Quintet in C major, Op. 29, "Storm"

(for 2 violins, 2 violas and cello)
10:40 I. Allegro moderato
10:11 II. Adagio molto espressivo
4:06 III. Scherzo. Allegro - Trio
8:46 IV. Presto
Duration: 34 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1801 (age 30-31)
Published: 1802, Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel (age 31-32)
Dedication: Count (Moritz von) Fries
6 recordings, 21 videos
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10:05
Endellion String Quartet, David Adams
I. Allegro moderato
9:43
Endellion String Quartet, David Adams
II. Adagio molto espressivo
3:45
Endellion String Quartet, David Adams
III. Scherzo. Allegro - Trio
8:22
Endellion String Quartet, David Adams
IV. Presto
11:10
Medici String Quartet
I. Allegro moderato
10:15
Medici String Quartet
II. Adagio molto espressivo
3:59
Medici String Quartet
III. Scherzo. Allegro - Trio
8:30
Medici String Quartet
IV. Presto
10:35
Kammerensemble de Paris, Jean-Claude Bouveresse
I. Allegro moderato
10:52
Kammerensemble de Paris, Jean-Claude Bouveresse
II. Adagio molto espressivo
3:59
Kammerensemble de Paris, Jean-Claude Bouveresse
III. Scherzo. Allegro - Trio
9:26
Kammerensemble de Paris, Jean-Claude Bouveresse
IV. Presto
11:27
Fine Arts Quartet, Gil Sharon
I. Allegro moderato
11:06
Fine Arts Quartet, Gil Sharon
II. Adagio molto espressivo
4:13
Fine Arts Quartet, Gil Sharon
III. Scherzo. Allegro - Trio
9:49
Fine Arts Quartet, Gil Sharon
IV. Presto
10:33
Zurich String Quintet
I. Allegro moderato
9:24
Zurich String Quintet
II. Adagio molto espressivo
4:48
Zurich String Quintet
III. Scherzo. Allegro - Trio
9:42
Zurich String Quintet
IV. Presto
34:03
Bowman, et. al.
From Kai Christiansen

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

String Quintet in C Major, Op. 29, “The Storm” (1801)

Ludwig van Beethoven When Beethoven composed his only full-length string quintet in 1801, he was beginning a transition between his early and middle stylistic phases, moving from Classical mastery towards a new kind of epic innovation that would define his mature artistry. The years of 1801-1802 witnessed Beethoven confronting the ironic and devastating fate of losing his hearing, eventually prevailing with heroic resolve. This transitional period finds Beethoven composing his second symphony, his third piano concerto and the marvelous Op. 29 String Quintet known by the nickname “Storm” (Der Sturm). Overshadowed by the fame of his string quartets and the string quintets of Mozart and Schubert, Beethoven’s quintet is rarely performed, a special treat to encounter. It is a large-scale work leveraging the great skills Beethoven honed writing his previous string trios and quartets and, like Mozart’s quintets, features an expansive richness due to the sonority and independence of the lower strings enhanced with a second viola.

The first movement is a full-featured sonata form with two themes (the second in an unusual key), a surging development and a recap with elegant decorations. The second movement is a characteristically lyrical and noble slow movement with a surprising depth of feeling, more poignant and intense than many commentators reveal. The scherzo is brisk and vital, famously based on a brief, single-measure leaping motif that saturates all but the contrast of the luscious trio. The finale inspired the quintet’s nickname: over the stormy tremolos in the lower strings, the first violin soars like a bird against gale force winds. Adding to the stormy complexion is a dramatic fugato (“little fugue”) and Beethoven’s famous muscularity in the lower strings. But Beethoven also displays his rough humor with some surprising musical jokes he most likely learned from Haydn.

© Kai Christiansen Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1800 Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Emanuel Aloys Förster (1748-1823) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Louis Spohr (1784-1859) Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) Carl Czerny (1791-1857) Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)