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Book Review

Volume 13 • Number 1

Spring 2006


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.

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