Early Beethoven

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.

Early Beethoven

  • 09:30
  • 27.01.2020
  • Kleine zaal
  • € 18,50

Doric String Quartet
Alex Redington violin
Ying Xue violin
Hélène Clément viola
John Myerscough cello

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 1, op. 18/1
Andrea Tarrodi String Quartet no. 3 ‘Light scattering

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.

After countless sketches and a complete revision of almost every bar Beethoven finally completed his opus 18/1. He plays with the balance between classicist expectations and the compulsion to steer his own course. The result is a deceptively light-sounding quartet that is full of virtuosity and profound depth.

Doric _George Garnier

Early Beethoven

  • 09:30
  • 28.01.2020
  • Kleine zaal
  • € 18,50

Ruysdael Quartet
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.

Ruysdael (10)

Early Beethoven

  • 09:30
  • 29.01.2020
  • Kleine zaal
  • € 18,50

Quatuor Danel
Marc Danel violin
Gilles Millet violin
Vlad Bogdanas viola
Yovan Markovitch cello

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 2, op. 18/2
Mieczysław Weinberg Improvisation & Romance

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 first notes of this quartet evoke images of Viennese courts and palaces; gracious bows and nods in golden ballrooms; the young Beethoven eager to claim his place in the tradition of his predecessors. It is an elegant and invigorating quartet, cast in a traditional form.

Quatuor Danel has a special link to the Weinberg piece they have chosen to perform alongside Beethoven’s work: in 2018 they gave the world première of the work, which was written in 1950.

Quator DanelPhoto: Marco Borggreve

Early Beethoven

  • 09:30
  • 30.01.2020
  • Kleine zaal
  • € 18,50

Signum Quartett
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.

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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.’

Signum Quartett-Thomas-for-gallery

Early Beethoven

  • 09:30
  • 30.01.2020
  • Kleine zaal
  • € 18,50

Borusan Quartet
Esen Kıvrak violin
Özgür Baskın violin
Efdal Altun viola
Çağ Erçağ cello

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 5, op. 18/5
Burhan Öçal Eski Istanbul

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.

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Beethoven modelled his string quartet on Mozart’s KV 464, which Mozart in turn had dedicated to Haydn. This quartet is thus rooted in the Viennese tradition. The Borusan Quartet performs Eski Istanbul as encore – a popular Turkish song – arranged for string quartet in an almost nostalgic, high Romantic style.

borusan_quartet_4(C)Özge Balkan

Early Beethoven

  • 09:30
  • 01.02.2020
  • Kleine zaal
  • € 18,50

Dudok Quartet
Judith van Driel violin
Marleen Wester violin
Marie-Louise de Jong viola
David Faber cello

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 6, op. 18/6
Olivier Messiaen Oraison (arr. David Faber)

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.

Read more

buy tickets

The last of the six opus 18 quartets is the most reminiscent of Haydn. Beethoven makes use of keen wit and the element of surprise rather than focusing on melody and beauty. Within the classical forms he plays with Haydnesque abrupt halts, rhythmic elegance, sudden mood transformations, and manipulation of the musical material.

Heard here in an arrangement by David Faber, the cellist of the Dudok Quartet, Oraison has an interesting history. It was originally written for six Ondes Martenots, a predecessor of the synthesizer, and later arranged by Messiaen himself for piano and cello as Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus from Quatuor pour la fin du temps. The Dudok Quartet combines these two versions; incorporating the gliding sounds of the Ondes Martenot, but using acoustic instruments, as in Quatuor pour la fin du temps.

Dudok-Quartet-Amsterdam-Photo-002-©-Marco-Borggreve

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