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Count Andrey Kyrillovich Razumovsky

Count Andrey Kyrillovich Razumovsky, from 1792 the Russian Ambassador to Vienna, was born in St Petersburg on 2 November 1772 and died in Vienna on 23 September 1836. Half Cossack, he was a colourful character, achieving his reputation in diplomatic circles, it was said, 'less through his skill in diplomacy than through his lavish expenditure and his love affairs with ladies of the highest standing, not excluding the Queen of Naples' (Thayer). A contemporary remembered him living 'in Vienna like a prince, encouraging art and science, surrounded [in his palace] by a luxurious library and other collections and admired and envied by all; what advantages accrued from all this to Russian affairs is another matter.' Razumovsky commissioned Beethoven's three String Quartets Op 59 (1806), and was joint-dedicatee of the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. AO

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