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During IRMT's 2020 Annual Conference, we'll present a programme of three Beethoven Quartets, one from each of his so-called three periods, early, middle and late.
Opening with the unsettled world of the C Minor work from Op. 18, Beethoven’s first published collection of six quartets, the programme proceeds to the third Razumovsky Quartet, a work whose startling introduction recalls the opening bars of Mozart’s “Dissonance” Quartet, K.465, both works sharing the same so-called “easy” key centre of C Major. The final movement is a tour de force of string quartet virtuosity, one of those movements that leaves musicians and audience gasping for breath!
The second half is devoted to just one work, the A Minor Quartet, Op. 132. Written in 1825 and premièred by the famous Schuppanzigh Quartet in 1826, this substantial work includes the famous “Heiliger Dankgesang” as its extended central movement, a piece which Beethoven had penned after a prolonged period of ill-health.
Beethoven String Quartet in C Minor, Op. 18 No. 4
Beethoven String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59 No. 3
Beethoven String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132