BEETHOVEN BLOG

As our journey through all the Beethoven quartets reaches its middle point, we are tackling perhaps the most demanding and the greatest of all the string quartets written to this day - the monumental op.131. Playing it is a particularly thrilling experience for us, which is why I chose to focus on this work alone today. Certainly for some of us in the Belcea Quartet it was hearing this piece early on in our lives that marked us with our passion for playing string quartets... 

 

The first Beethoven recording is finished! We had a very intense weekend in Snape, playing the programme twice in Snape's new Britten Studio to two different audiences on two consecutive days...

 

As our Beethoven adventure continues, the sense of awe and happiness, which we share in our quartet only deepens with each day dedicated to our work on his music.

The second instalment of our Beethoven cycle, which we are about to begin, is also the beginning of our complete live Beethoven quartet cycle recording - a project taking place in the wonderful new Britten Studio in...

 

In between two of our Beethoven programmes we are enjoying a new and very different challenge.  Next week we will give the world premiere of a new piano quintet written for us and our friend the Romanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa by the renown Austrain composer Thomas Larcher.  The Wigmore Hall premiere will be followed later in the week by further performances in Vienna and Dortmund...

 

This music inhabits a place in history in which perhaps the biggest paradigm shift took place. We could even argue that without these works this shift would never have taken us where we are today. Having only been established by Haydn at the end of the 18th century, through Beethoven the genre of string quartet suddenly outgrew its "cosy" aristocratic origins and was catapulted into the nineteenth century's Romantic era and much further beyond...

 
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