String Quartet no. 16 in F, Op. 135

Beethoven's String Quartet no. 16 was written in October 1826 and was the last substantial work he finished. Only the last movement of the Quartet op. 130, a replacement for the Große Fuge, was written later. The work is on a smaller scale than his other late quartets: under the introductory slow chords in the last movement Beethoven wrote in the manuscript "Muß es sein?" (Must it be?) to which he responds, with the faster main theme of the movement, "Es muß sein!" (It must be!). The whole movement is headed Der schwer gefaßte Entschluß (The Difficult Decision).

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