Tinalley String Quartet

Friday, 30 October 2020 at 8pm

Adam Chalabi (Violin), Lerida Delbridge (Violin), Justin Williams (Viola) and Patrick Murphy (Cello)

Photo credit: C. Brewster

Programme

HAYDN String quartet in C major, Op 76 no 3, Hob III:77, Emperor

BEETHOVEN String quartet no 13 in C minor, Op 18 no 4

INTERVAL

MENDELSSOHN String quartet no 4  in E minor, Op 44 no 2

About the Artists

Formed in 2003, the Tinalley String Quartet has established a reputation as one of Australia's most exciting chamber ensembles. Resident at the University of Queensland, the quartet presents a vibrant annual artistic program across Australia and abroad, including live performance, recordings, the commissioning of new works and innovative collaborations with distinguished artists.

Read more about the artists.

Programme Notes

The Quartet's  concert begins with the radiance of Haydn's Emperor quartet, music filled with the expansive and generous spirit of a mature master. The mood changes with the dark beauty of an early Beethoven quartet, richly textured and dramatic.  The exhilarating technique of a late Mendelssohn quartet brings a joyful finale to the concert and to our 2020 concert season.

BEETHOVEN String quartet in C minor, op 18, no 4 

Allegro ma non tanto / Andante scherzoso quasi allegretto / Menuetto Allegretto / Allegro – Prestissimo

Although Beethoven had composed a number of significant chamber works after his arrival in Vienna in 1792, it was not until 1798 that he began composing his first string quartets in response to a commission from his patron, Prince Lobokowitz.  It is thought that Beethoven’s high regard for the string quartets of Haydn and Mozart, made him reluctant to compose his own string quartets before he felt he could match their mastery of the form.

Beethoven completed the Prince’s commission for six string quartets (including the quartet we are to hear tonight) in 1800.  The set was published the following year as opus 18. It contains much wonderful music and demonstrates Beethoven’s technical and artistic command of the string quartet form.  

The string quartet in C minor is a particularly dramatic work.It begins with an anxious and agitated theme from the violin in a concerto-like display. The development of the theme continues with an apprehensive quality. There are moments of quiet re-assurance, but the music never settles completely.  The C minor key gives this movement a dramatic immediacy, intensified by jarring harmonies and halting rhythms.

The Andate scherzosa movement shifts the key to C major. The mood is lighthearted within a beautifully controlled sonata-like structure; the central section being a development of complex harmonies using themes Beethoven had introduced earlier. 

Drama returns in the Menuetto movement. The C minor key returns with emotional intensity in a dance of dark and restless energy. The urgency continues with a trio, dominated by the violin’s constant quick triplets.

The final movement is a Rondo based on a Hungarian-style gypsy theme with contrasting themes at first peaceful then vigorous.  The tempo increases and the music whirls to an exultant finale, releasing the energy and tension that has built up through the work. 
                                                                                                                         C. B.

 

Programme notes for the other works will be available nearer to the concert date.