St. Lawrence String Quartet

Tuesday, January 28

Memorial Hall

 

“A sound that has just about everything one wants from a quartet, most notably precision, warmth and an electricity that conveys the excitement of playing whatever is on their stands at the moment.” – New York Times

“These are fearless musicians whose spontaneity stretches past conventional interpretation and probes the music’s imaginative limits.” – The Washington Post

Violinist Jeff Nutall will lead a discovery session in which Haydn’s unique and revolutionary attributes are examined in a respectful, informative, yet highly entertaining exploration of the composer’s Op. 20, No. 5. It will then be performed in its entirety.

Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5  – Franz Joseph Haydn

String Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59, No. 3 “Razumovsky” – Ludwig van Beethoven

Program Notes

Haydn composed eighteen string quartets in three sets of six each between 1769 and 1772. Legendry musicologist Donald Francis Tovey wrote, “Every page of the six quartets of Op. 20 is of historic and aesthetic importance…With Op. 20, the historical develop of Haydn’s quartets reaches its goal; and further progress is…simply the difference between one masterpiece and the next.” These quartets were the first to give the cello an equal role with the other instruments. No. 5 is one of Haydn’s most compelling and perhaps the most frequently played of the set.

Beethoven wrote sixteen string quartets. Op. 135 in F Major was the last significant work he completed (1826). His last six “late” quartets, begin with Op. 127 (1825). The three Op. 59 quartets, all from 1806, begin what is called his “middle” period and are ground-breaking in their length and depth. All are dedicated to the Russian ambassador in Vienna, Count Razumovsky, who commissioned them. No. 2 will be performed by the Emerson Quartet on our series in October 2019.