Beethoven Late Quartets (in Eb and F)

Come to the lovely Conway Hall - and listen to two of Beethoven's sublime late quartets. Before the concert there is a talk about the quartets. The tickets are just £8 without designated seating.

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  • Elisabetta

    My apologies if I was not there after the concert. I had to run to take the train. Anyway, it was nice to meet you all.

    October 22, 2012

  • Meg P.

    All the players were brilliant but I especially enjoyed the cello part (as I play the cello), and the very accomplished playing. Everything was good - the tone, interpretation, ensemble, and, of course, the music is exceptional.

    October 21, 2012

  • Zofia

    I must confess I have not really understood Beethoven’s music until very recently, when I had my "Beethoven revelation" moment...Also, after doing some reading I would say that I like him as a person- his obsessive demands for freedom, his unwillingness to compromise, his search – always doomed and never fulfilled – for a soulmate. And, at last – his tragedy as one of the outstanding musicians of his time, probably one the most outstanding ever, loosing his hearing almost completely by the age of 28...what can be more devastating for a composer, especially one as talented as Beethoven than losing his hearing while still at his artistic peak? He contemplated suicide on many occasions...but was saved by his amazing love of life and and his fighting spirit. It is easy to dismiss him or his music as that of “old Ludvig”, but I would advise anyone who is still “in a dark” about his music - please listen to it again, and one day you may have your “Beethoven moment” too...

    1 · October 20, 2012

    • Stephen J.

      I love your reply, Zofia. In my time I've had to listen to a great deal of Beethoven and am certainly not in the dark (at least, I hope I'm not; for his piano sonatas are one of the great joys of my musical life). I could reply that many if not most composers have had their dark hour of the soul: Schubert facing a death-sentence by what we should now call syphilis, Schumann manic-depressive (even if it was HIS syphilis that probably polished him off in the lunatic asylum): Donizetti and Hugo Wolf also ending up in madhouses: Tchaikovsky contemplating suicide on a regular basis: Chopin (another depressive) waiting for death from tuberculosis: Berlioz and Brahms also bipolar: Shostakovich camped on the stairs every night so that he could be arrested and carried off to death-camp without waking his wife and kids...but enough! You defence of "old L" is so eloquently moving that I'm glad I started this debate going. There cheers for him...and for you!

      October 21, 2012

  • Stephen J.

    I wish I could be keener about old Ludwig. Some of his late, great piano sonatas are to be admired for all time: Opus 109 is a piece that I should take to the Desert Island. But it was Sir Thomas Beecham, the greatest conductor to come out of the UK and a pioneer in the symphonies of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Sibelius, who described the Beethoven late quartets as "music written by the deaf, for the deaf". He it was who described the Scherzo of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony as "like a load of yaks jumping about". Chopin and Shostakovich were composers who also decried Beethoven, if only in the safe company of friends. It is another comment of Beecham's that clinches the deal: "A sort of musical Mr Gladstone, always thumping the tub." For me, you see, his chamber music is reminiscent of no more the the fusty odour of an curmudgeonly bachelor's tweedy armpits. But rather than spoiling your fun, let me instead endorse three glorious November concerts: 11th, 18th, 25th. See you there!

    October 16, 2012

    • Stephen J.

      Once I was invited to do a hatchet job on Mahler for a leading music magazine and I responded with glee, even though I'd probably take his Fourth to the Desert Island, and possibly his Sixth as well. Why? Because we can have no sacred cows. If my earlier comments help people to rediscover Beethoven's music for themselves (as previous generations had to rediscover Schubert and Mozart and even JSB, and liberate them from the black Beethovenian shadow) then I shall be glad I took time to type my comments. That being said... if memory serves Debussy wasn't too keen on LvB either; and it has also been observed that, "Of the great composers, Mozart tells you what it is like to be alive: Beethoven tells you what it is like to be Beethoven." Anyway, here's wishing you all a fabulous evening.

      October 17, 2012

    • Matthew N.

      Definitely, I approve of making up one's own mind - and, agreed, there are no sacred cows!

      1 · October 17, 2012

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