Friday 24 November | 7:45pm
Doors & bar 6:00pm | Concert 7:45pm, ends 9:00pm, no interval
Tickets £22 / £11 (under 25)
Zoë Beyers & Ian Watson, violins | Carol Ella, viola | Richard Jenkinson, cello
Benjamin Britten - String Quartet no 3 in G, op 94
Ludwig van Beethoven - String Quartet in F, op 59 no 1
'The unflinching integrity of their interpretation and the excitement of their playing were consistently superb'
Founded in 1995, the Dante Quartet, one of the UK’s finest ensembles, is known for its imaginative programming and impassioned performances. Winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Chamber Music and international awards for its recordings, the quartet are frequently heard on Radio 3, at Wigmore Hall and Kings Place; and at foremost festivals in the UK and internationally. Their series of acclaimed recordings for Hyperion have been awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award and the French Diapaison d’Or, and the quartet have also recorded for Signum with celebrated tenor Andrew Kennedy.
Britten’s third quartet was written in the composer’s beloved Venice during his last illness. This ephemeral, fantastical and deeply heartfelt piece is a statement of naked sincerity, the atmosphere and themes of his final opera ‘Death in Venice’ strongly evident throughout. Peter Pears described the posthumous premiere of the quartet as being ‘of a profound beauty more touching than anything else, radiant, wise, new, mysterious - overwhelming’.
Beethoven’s three Razumovsky Quartets are now amongst his most enduringly popular works, but Beethoven surprised his Russian patron by presenting him with lengthy compositions that express intense, shifting emotions and left their first performers and audiences shocked at the technical demands. Revolutionary, visionary and unprecedented in their grand and sweeping scope, the three quartets of the opus 59 trilogy are historical landmarks of the quartet genre. Each has its own musical language and persona; the F Major quartet is expansive, majestic, spacious, tragic, and rambunctious: ‘they are not for you, but for a later age’, Beethoven advised his critics.