Florian Donderer violin
Annette Walther violin
Xandi van Dijk viola
Thomas Schmitz cello
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 3 in D op. 18/3
Konstantia Gourzi String Quartet no. 2 P-ILION, nine fragments of an eternity
In a subtle reference to Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, six festival days kick off with an Early Beethoven, in place of the previous festival’s Early Haydn series. Characterised by clarity, tension, humour and elegance, these quartets do not reflect the mature Beethoven’s complex and contrary character; instead, they reveal a young, ambitious Beethoven, embarking on the creation of an unparalleled quartet oeuvre.
The work published as Beethoven’s third string quartet is actually the very first string quartet that he wrote. When one listens to it in this way – with the knowledge of what is yet to come – Beethoven opens his string quartet oeuvre in a surprisingly gentle and well-considered manner. The lyrical introduction seems to declare: ‘Here I am, I’m going to write string quartets, just like Haydn and Mozart’, but at the same time he is already subtly experimenting with the core issue – ‘here I am, but I’m going to do it in my own way.’