David Rundell



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David Rundell, MUS303: Music History 2 Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Carolyn Guzski, Music

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is my favorite composer because I admire and enjoy his use of counterpoint. Beethoven's Late Period String Quartet in C# minor; op. 131 stands out for its variety of stylistic influences; and the varied characters and structural forms of its seven movements. Its performance length is thirty-five minutes and the music flows uninterruptedly; without the typical pauses between movements. Beethoven completed the Quartet in 1826 but died before it was published in 1827. The composition was considered to be avant-garde for its time and was not publicly performed until 1835. Robert Schumann; Richard Wagner; and Franz Schubert were all fans of this renowned Quartet. This composition was dedicated to Baron Joseph von Sutterheim, a decorated military lieutenant who took Beethoven's nephew Karl into the army as a personal favor. My project investigates several queries about Beethoven and his work. How did Beethoven's tragic early hearing loss affect his Late Period writing? Why was this piece Beethoven's favorite of his final String Quartets? How are the movements of this piece so different yet fit together so well? Did Beethoven acknowledge any artistic influences on his highly original Late Period works?

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Beethoven's Favorite Late Period String Quartet
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