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Beethoven String Quartets:
Quartet in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2
Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3
Quartet in F Major, Op. 135
6:30 PM lecture with Olga Sanchez Kisielewska
The tall, blond, and bearded members of the Danish String Quartet exude the Nordic heritage that has come to be a defining trademark of the group that is equally praised for its performances of classical string quartet repertoire and traditional Scandinavian folk music. Since meeting at a summer camp in the Danish countryside more than two decades ago, the four musicians have become close friends with an enduring trust in each other, enabling a rare musical spontaneity in their performances.
In September 2018, the Quartet embarked on a new project (the first disc of which, Prism I, garnered the group its first GRAMMY nomination) highlighting their unique approach to Beethoven: a deep exploration of Bach’s influence on the composer and Beethoven’s influence on all who came after. In 2020, the year of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, DSQ exposes Beethoven’s life through three of his quartets from the composer’s early, middle and late periods: Op. 18, No. 3, the first quartet every written by the composer; Op. 59, No. 3, Beethoven’s musical “coming-to-terms” with his deafness; and Op. 135, the last major piece of music Beethoven composed, in which he asks “Muss es sein?” (Must it be?) then declares “Es muss sein!” (It must be!)
The Danish String Quartet, called “remarkable as ever” by Gramophone magazine, performs on the Classic Concerts Series in Mandel Hall on Friday, January 31 at 7:30 pm. Before the performance, music theorist Olga Sanchez Kisielewska gives a lecture starting at 6:30 pm.