Performances‎ > ‎

January 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Where: Buckland Park Lodge (1342 Westfall Road, Rochester NY 14618)
                On Westfall Road between South Winton Road and South Clinton Avenue
                        (click here to be directed to a Google Map for directions)

    Quartet No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 18 No. 4
    Quartet No. 7 in F Major, Op. 59 No. 1

Tickets: $20 ($5 student) suggested donation at the door (no reservations required!)

What could be better than hearing Beethoven quartets performed live, up close and personal in a quasi-rustic lodge setting? Join us for a winter's afternoon with music, a roaring fire, and warm cider and donut holes!

About the Music (notes by David Brickman)

Beethoven’s String Quartet Opus 18, No. 4 in C Minor is perhaps the most instantly accessible of his sixteen works for this ensemble.  Beethoven associates the key of C Minor with passion and drama; works in C Minor include the famous Fifth Symphony and the Pathetique Piano Sonata.  The first movement of the string quartet epitomizes Beethoven’s dramatic style and we often hear a collective gasp from the audience after the three powerful final chords.  The first theme of the Andante scherzoso quasi allegretto is in C Major and is presented by the second violin and then, in fugal style, each instrument plays the theme in turn.  The movement demonstrates Beethoven’s ability to create a world of emotional contrast from minimal material.  The third movement, Menuetto: Allegretto, returns to C Minor and its dramatic style.  The placid and elegant middle section of the movement provides stark contrast, though the rapid accompanying triplets in the first violin suggest that the world of dramatic intensity is not far off.  The Finale, Allegro-Prestissimo, is a rondo, meaning that the main theme alternates with “episodes” in different keys and characters.  This rondo theme is in the Hungarian style favored by Beethoven’s sometime teacher, Haydn.  The movement ends with the theme presented prestissimo (as fast as possible) and is a true crowd pleaser!

Beethoven’s String Quartet Opus 59, No. 1 in F Major is the first of a group of three quartets commissioned by Prince Andrey Razumovsky, then the Russian ambassador to Vienna. This work has four quite substantial movements and is perhaps half again longer than any of the earlier quartets.  The first movement, Allegro, is a large sonata form movement with a fugato (small fugue) in the development. It opens with one of the great ‘cello moments in all the quartet literature.  The second movement, Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando, replaces the usual menuet or scherzo.  As the name implies, there is a playful, joking quality to the music - but it is neither fast nor virtuosic like many of Beethoven's scherzos.  The movement is in a moderate 3/8 time and is full of humor, pathos and power.  The slow movement, marked Adagio molto e mesto (very slow and sad) is in the key of F Minor. This movement seems to express the deepest and most poignant aspects of the human condition.  The movement closes with a difficult cadenza-like passage for the first violin which transforms the character of the music to one of levity - and leads directly into the finale: Thème Russe: Allegro.  (Each of the three Opus 59 “Razumovsky” quartets includes a Russian theme.)   Again, the ‘cello presents the theme and the movement unfolds as a tour de force, both in terms of the emotional power of the music and the intricate, complex rhythmic demands placed on the ensemble.  If you love Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony No. 3, you will recognize the language of the String Quartet Opus 59, No. 1.

Inside Buckland Lodge