Joris van Rijn violin
Emi Ohi Resnick violin
Gijs Kramers viola
Jeroen den Herder cello
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 4, op. 18/4
Toru Takemitsu Landscape I
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.
It is the only quartet of the opus 18 series to be written in a minor key, but even more striking is its totally extrovert, almost theatrical nature. Haydn and Mozart, and even Beethoven himself in earlier works, claimed this tonality to express their Sturm und Drang feelings. With its four quick movements and restless themes, this quartet fits perfectly into this tradition.