Lluís Castán Cochs violin
Judit Bardolet Vilaró violin
Miquel Jordà Saún viola
Jesús Miralles Roger cello
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 16, op. 135
The string quartet can in fact be summed up in five extraordinary works: the late Beethoven quartets. These works transcend all boundaries and have retained their contemporary relevance for the past two centuries. The music is permeated by personal struggle and constantly shifts between unfathomable complexity and ethereal beauty. Using just four instrumental voices Beethoven redefined music’s universal expressive power. On six separate evenings one of these quartets will be performed at 10:30 pm.
Beethoven’s final string quartet is the odd one out. It is short, characterised by a warm tonality and reasonably classical in its form – all in all it would seem to be an easily accessible work. Then, suddenly, written in the score next to the opening notes of the final movement the historic words loom up: ‘Muss es sein? Es muss sein!’ Is this a deeply philosophical contemplation by Beethoven in his final complete work – is the work’s seemingly light-hearted nature just an illusion? – Or are the words merely a reference to an unpaid bill?