As our Beethoven adventure continues, the sense of awe and happiness, which we share in our quartet only deepens with each day dedicated to our work on his music.
The second instalment of our Beethoven cycle, which we are about to begin, is also the beginning of our complete live Beethoven quartet cycle recording - a project taking place in the wonderful new Britten Studio in Snape.
As is the case with all our programmes this season each of the three works forming our concert represents one of the periods of Beethoven's creative output.
The op.18 no.6 is one of the most fascinating Beethoven quartets - in some ways the most audacious of all the op. 18s. Its light opera buffa-like exterior hides darkness revealed fully only in La Malinconia - the introduction to the quartet's finale, where extreme tenderness alternates with levels of horror hitherto unknown in the cosy realm of chamber music.
The op.95 is a veritable revolution in music. Perhaps the most arresting opening of any piece of music! The tension accumulated in this relatively short quartet is truly explosive. It is a real challenge for us to respond to its concentration and energy.
And finally the op.127 - the first late Beethoven quartet we ever learned - some 12 years ago - and only now fully revealing to us its beauties and secrets. It contains what must be the King of Beethoven's Adagios (al least that's how we feel it at the moment!). It is a gigantic work - on an entirely new scale - like a lifetime encapsulated in a piece of music which culminates in its final pages in a magnificent coda - like a transcendental vision of the journey made.
We hope you can join us on one of the stops of our upcoming Beethoven tour to hear this wonderful music.
28th November - St George's, Liverpool
30th November - The Sage, Gateshead
1st December - Wigmore Hall, London
3rd December - Britten Studio, Snape Maltings
4th December - Britten Studio, Snape Maltings
7th December - Laeiszhalle, Hamburg
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