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Beethoven and the liberation of the string player

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Ensemble 4.1 | Quirine Viersen cello | Enrico Pace piano | Simply Quartet | Coraline Groen violin

 8 p.m. | de Nieuwe Kerk

npo4This concert will be broadcast live by NTR Radio 4


Listening to Beethoven's chamber music for string players one of the things you can't help but notice is how modern he was as a composer. For Beethoven, this idiom lent itself perfectly to experimentation with timbres and textures. His quest for innovative harmonies largely determined the way these works progressed, and sometimes even their form. There is, however, one thing they share: an unprecedented wealth of expression!


Beethoven: Quintet for piano and winds, Op. 16 | Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 102 No. 1 | Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 12 No. 2 | String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2


Beethoven: Quintet for piano and winds, Op. 16

Beethoven’s only piano quintet was composed taking Mozart’s composition with the same instrumentation as an example. Perhaps it sprang from a commercial incentive: music for wind instruments had suddenly become quite popular in Vienna, the ‘city of pianists’, prompting both composers to bring these instruments together. Beethoven made thankful use of melodies that clearly breathe the atmosphere of Mozart.


Beethoven: Cello Sonata, Op. 102 No. 1

The two sonatas for cello Opus 102 were written for Beethoven’s long-time benefactress, Countess Anna-Maria von Erdödy, and Joseph Linke, cellist of the Schuppanzigh Quartet, with whom Beethoven enjoyed close ties in the composition of all his string quartets. The sonatas stem from 1815 and their première performance was given by Joseph Linke and Beethoven’s pupil Carl Czerny.

Beethoven: Violin Sonata, Op. 12 No. 2

This sonata is the second of a set of three that were written between 1797 and 1798 and dedicated to Antonio Salieri. When hearing the first movement you could easily wonder: ‘When will the themes will be introduced?’ Rather than showcasing uplifting melodies, this sonata focusses on the lively and fascinating interaction between the piano and the violin. An ideal opportunity for putting the winner of the National Violin Competition in the spotlights!

Beethoven: String Quartet, Op. 59 No. 2

The three string quartets Opus 59 are known as the Razumovsky Quartets, after Count Razumovsky, to whom they were dedicated. The third movement makes use of a Russian theme taken from a song called ‘Ode to the Sun’ and which would reappear in compositions by Moussorgsky, Arensky and Rachmaninoff.


* Programmawijzigingen voorbehouden.
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