Performances‎ > ‎

October 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Where: Lyric Theater (440 East Avenue, Rochester NY)
    Our concert will take place in the smaller performance space, originally the "Sunday School."
    Please enter the building using the PRINCE STREET side entrance.
    PARKING is available on-street (note any alternate-side parking signs!) as well as directly across Prince Street from the Lyric Theater.

    Quartet No. 6 in B-flat Major, Op. 18 No. 6
    Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59 No. 3

Tickets: $20 suggested donation at the door

About the Music (notes by David Brickman):

    The first movement of Beethoven’s String Quartet Opus 18, No. 6 (1798-1800) opens with a boisterous dialog between the violin and ‘cello.  Its second theme, a poignant rhetorical chorale, provides stark contrast.  In the sublime slow movement in E-flat, Beethoven demonstrates his ability to express profound meaning from simple material.  The Scherzo is a tour de force of syncopation and surprise.  The Finale with its slow introduction (which Beethoven indicates is to be played with the greatest delicacy) foreshadows the expression of mystery and gravity that is associated with Beethoven’s most mature works.  He was still in his twenties when this work was composed.
    The Andante con moto introduction to Beethoven’s String Quartet Opus 59, No. 3 begins with a chord that must have shocked contemporary audiences who expected to hear thematic material in an unambiguous key.  The passage gropes its way searchingly through different keys, creating sense of being adrift, disoriented.  Salvation arrives suddenly in the two most basic “shave and a haircut” chords in C Major, that most basic of keys.  The first movement which follows is ebullient and expresses unalloyed joy.  The second movement, Andante con moto quasi allegretto, opens with stark “drum beats”, plucked on the lowest string by the ‘cello.  This sets the stage for a hushed and urgent melody in the first violin which alternates with sunnier episodes and a hypnotic, lullaby-like passage in the three upper voices.  The third movement, Menuetto (Grazioso) is simplicity itself, a warm hug expressed in music.  The middle section (called the “trio”) is an urgent fanfare.  The Menuetto is restated, but then a melancholy coda emerges and the movements ends with a harmonic “question mark”.  This question is answered immediately by the viola, who states the theme of one of Beethoven’s most rocking movements, the whirlwind fugue which closes the work.  Each player has a turn in the spotlight and rapid lines pass back and forth, almost quicker than the ear can hear!  There is a false ending (don’t clap yet!) and the piece ends in a grand and virtuosic style reminiscent of another great and joyful Finale, that of the great fifth symphony by Beethoven.    

We are excited to present one of the first chamber music concerts in the Rochester Lyric Opera's new home - our concert will take place in the smaller, more intimate hall at the grand Lyric Theater, previously home to the First Church of Christ, Scientist.