Beethoven’s late period saw a troubled, unwell, deaf man who knew his life was running out writing music of extraordinary intensity, innovation, and profundity. After his vast ninth symphony, premiered in 1824, Beethoven turned almost solely to string quartets in his last years. These late quartets were roundly dismissed by the audience of the day: composer Louis Spohr called them “indecipherable, uncorrected horrors”. And yet this music has had a deep effect on generations since, and is today held to be some of the great art of all time.
The pinnacle of Opus 130 is an utterly beautiful Cavatina which “touches on the richness of the human capacity for love as well as the loneliness of isolation” (Mark Steinberg). The quartet culminates in the Große Fuge, an immense double fugue regarded as one of Beethoven’s greatest achievements.
To perform this epic work especially for our Holy Week Festival, we have brought together four exceptional chamber musicians:
Jamie Campbell, Violin I
Alessandro Ruisi, Violin II
Jane Atkins, Viola
Nathaniel Boyd, Cello
Their residency at the festival concludes on Good Friday, with an afternoon performance of Haydn's 'Seven Last Words of Christ'.
The performance lasts approximately 50 minutes.