Beethoven in close-up: art of the fugue

To celebrate Beethoven’s 250th jubileum the Berlin Philharmoniker has offered its Digital Concert Hall public a delightful voyage of discovery through the composer’s chamber music works. In four parts, this extraordinary musical adventure takes us from early works for winds ensembles to the early, middle and late periods of Beethoven’s string quartets. For many of us this is a revelation of less well known compositions, over which we are guided by Philipp Bohnen’s cogent and charming comments. We learn about the composer’s youth in Bonn, where he learnt to play the horn, his arrival in Vienna, his admiration for his elders Mozart and Haydn, his progress, over thirty years, to the masterpieces of the late string quartets. We learn also about the particular challenges, for the musicians themselves, of the quartets, the harmonic complexity and sometime unexpected tempo.

As a remarkable proof of breadth and depth of world-class professional talent, the orchestra spawned from its ranks seventeen string quartets and one winds sextet for these concerts. All are accessible on the Concert Hall starting here.

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