Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 1 in F Op. 18 No. 1
There’s a little bit of Shakespeare in Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 1 from his Op. 18 set. In the second movement, sketches indicate that Beethoven intended for the music to depict the tomb scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – the tragic scene where the two star-crossed lovers end their lives for one another. There’s other bits of interesting history regarding this quartet: there was an earlier version that Beethoven requested not be performed or even shown to anyone, and he completely rewrote it because he felt that he had “a lot to learn” about quartet writing.