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Beethoven Cycle - RTÉ Contempo Quartet

Beethoven Cycle - RTÉ Contempo Quartet

Friday 13 October 2017, 8pm - PROGRAMME No. 2

Thursday 2 November 2017 - PROGRAMME No. 3

Tickets €16. €25 package for both concerts. Click Here to avail of this offer


Beethoven: Quartet in G major, Op. 18, No. 2 (25’) 
Raymond Deane: Quartet VI (new RTÉ commission, 16’) 
Beethoven: Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2 (40’)

Conspicuous in Beethoven’s String Quartets is his desire to move his musical language away from the confines of tradition and towards greater complexity of expression. Their searching for a new sophistication anticipates the clinical exploration of music’s building blocks that would only begin to be articulated in the 20th Century.

Rooted in the idioms of Mozart and Haydn, the Second Quartet is more than mere musical mimickry, with surprises aplenty hinting at new directions.

The Eighth Quartet (the second Razumovsky Quartet) is more explicit in its testing of boundaries, the brittle beauty of its serene second movement as intimate and interior as anything Beethoven wrote.

Raymond Deane’s RTÉ-commissioned String Quartet VI constantly builds, dis-assembles and re-constructs its material in a thoroughly modern interrogation of musical form.



Beethoven: Quartet in D major, Op. 18, No. 3 (26’)
Kevin Volans: White Man Sleeps (20’)
Beethoven: Quartet in C major, Op. 59, No. 3 (32’)

Beethoven’s lyrical Third String Quartet straddles the old and the new – which Beethoven himself would usher in. While showing considerable respect for an heritage epitomised by Mozart and Haydn, it also tests the boundaries between past and present with delightful poise and precision.

By the time of the Ninth Quartet, musical muscles are being flexed with greater confidence and pointing more determinedly towards astonishing new directions. Its powerful opening and forceful finale (boasting a complicated but dazzlingly executed fugue) underline its Heroic nickname.

Originally composed for two harpsichords, viola da gamba and percussion, Kevin Volans’ First String Quaret, White Man Sleeps (1986), makes liberal use of African folk music to colour and shape a traditional Western form and imbue it with a uniquely contemporary personality.

Presented by RTÉ Contempo Quartet 




Solstice Arts Centre

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