The Lirios Quartet, University of Colorado Boulder String Quartet in Residence, will perform in concert Tuesday, January 31, 2023 @ 5:30 pm, Basalt Regional Library.
Their program will include String Quartet in C major, op.74, ‘Apponi’ No. 1 by Franz Joseph Haydn and Beethoven’s String Quartet in E minor, op. 59 ‘Razumovsky’, No. 2.
This program affords an opportunity to observe the historical changes in the string quartet form as it moves from performance in aristocratic private palaces to the public concert hall. It changes from an intimate genre to a composition with more dramatic weight.
Upon Haydn’s return to Vienna from London, he was commissioned by Hungarian Count Anton George Apponyi to write string quartets for ‘the privilege of dedication"(1793). By this time, Haydn, who is accredited with establishing the ‘true string quartet four movement scheme’, was composing in a style that reflected the change from ‘private to public performance’ string quartets. In op. 74, No. 1, Haydn expands the form by using slow introductions to various movements, a more forceful style including dramatic melodic gestures, musical surprises, increased instrumental conversation between all instruments, and counterpoint.
Beethoven’s Razumovsky quartets were written in 1806, his ‘heroic’ period. He uses Haydn’s late quartet form and expands it to accommodate his ‘revolutionary’ style.
The Razumovsky quartets were commissioned by Count Andreas Razumovsky, Russian ambassador to Vienna. These quartets are long and difficult. In op.59, No. 2, Beethoven’s style includes beautiful melodies, followed by ambiguous harmonic uncertainty and disjointed resolutions, lots of light-dark struggling, rhythmic patterns that almost seem ‘funky’. Pay close attention to the closing tarantella of the fourth movement. It has been compared to rock music with all instruments wailing away!
Musical forms continually evolve/expand/contract as composers attempt to express themselves through the same genre. Let us as listeners attempt to follow these evolutions with open minds.
A special thanks is extended to Aspen Music Festival and School and their Beginning Strings and Chamber Music Lab for bringing the Lirios Quartet to our valley. During the week, the quartet has shared their talents and expertise with our youth through classroom visitations, demonstrations, and performances.
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