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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Morning in the Church of Beethoven

Continuing our weekly "service": Leonard Bernstein once said that of all of his hundreds of recordings the one he most treasured was an obscure and quirky one: when he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in a 60-string orchestra performance of Beethoven's late quartet, opus 131 (which many consider his greatest). It had been tried before, despite attacks from critics who were alarmed by the massive enlargement, but Bernstein brought it to perfection in a staggering creation. YouTube has a bit of it including the first movement, one of Beethoven's summits:

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