In his late work Beethoven devoted himself intensively to the forms of baroque polyphony. He originally composed the "Große Fugue" as the final movement of the String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130. However, according to one critic, the listeners of the time considered it to be "unintelligible, like Chinese". At the urging of his publisher, Beethoven then replaced it with a newly composed closing movement for the quartet. in addition he also made a version of the "Große Fugue" for piano four-hands. The autograph of this arrangement was recently rediscovered and is the basis for this critical edition.