Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet op. 135 #
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 Bonn/Germany - 1827 Vienna) dedicated his String Quartet No. 16, op. 135 to Johann Nepomuk Wolfmeier. Beethoven completed the work in September 1826. The musical example presents the 4th movement which he precedes with the superscript Der schwer gefasste Entschluss; (The difficult decision) and in which he set texts under two themes (Muss es sein (Must it be?) - Es muss sein) (It must be!).
The first theme is deeply serious - a fearful question to Fate and is decisive for the character of the introductory Grave part; in contrast, the second theme expresses joyous resolution and dominates the Allegro section (= the leading theme). There have been many conjectures about the circumstances of the title and the themes but no real proof has been found yet. In any case, we cannot see this Finale as a kind of programme music but rather as absolute music which the composer enhanced with some capricious thoughts. (E. Stadler)