Brought to Book? New Essays on the Beethoven Quartets
by William Drabkin
The String Quartets of Beethoven. Edited by William Kinderman. Urbana and Chicago:
University of Illinois Press, 2006. [vii], 352pp.
The Beethoven string quartets are not only the most popular corpus of
chamber music, the best sellers of concert series, but are also widely
regarded as a pinnacle, even the pinnacle, of Western art music. If their
importance in the canon is not quite matched by writings about them„the bibliography
of The String Quartets of Beethoven lists just four English-language surveys
in the last half-century: Philip Radcliffe and Joseph Kerman in the sixties, Robert
Winter and Robert Martin and Leonard Ratner in the nineties„a new survey or
perspective should be all the more welcome.