The string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven, the signal achievement of “that noble genre,” have rewarded the engagement of scholars, performers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. This book and its accompanying recording invite you to experience three of these profound and beautiful works of music from the inside, with a leading Beethoven scholar and a premier performing ensemble as your guides. Lewis Lockwood provides historical and biographical background along with musical analysis, drawing on the most important insights of recent scholarship on Beethoven’s life and works. The members of the Juilliard String Quartet share the fruits of decades of performing and teaching these compositions through annotated scores and recordings of the first movements of three representative quartets, including the rarely heard original version of Opus 18 no. 1. And all parties join in lively and illuminating conversations that range from details of bowing and articulation to Beethoven’s development as a composer to the social history of the nineteenth century. Inside Beethoven’s Quartets illustrates how scholarly knowledge can inform a performance, as well as how performers’ interpretive choices can illuminate this sublime music.