Movement 1: Allegro ma non tanto
Movement 2: Scherzo: Andante scherzoso quasi allegretto
Movement 3: Menuetto: Allegretto
Movement 4: Allegro
By far the most serious part of this Quartet is the so-called minuet, having the urgency of some of Beethoven's later scherzo movements (which incidentally when they were not humorous he never called 'scherzo'). This dramatically intense 'minuet' has some remarkable chromaticisms, and the Trio, with its constant quick triplets in the first violin, could well have influenced Schubert's quartet textures. The Finale is one of Beethoven's rare excursions into the Hungarian style of which Haydn was fond; it is a simple rondo with a contrasting much broader second theme. At the end the tempo increases and, unlike Haydn in such cases, Beethoven allows the minor key to persist to the end. In this Quartet all the movements are in C.
from notes by Robert Simpson © 1990