Sunday 2 October 2011

Belcea Quartet's Beethoven Cycle

Tomorrow (Sunday 2nd October) sees the start of the Belcea Quartet's cycle of concerts covering the complete Beethoven Quartets. The quartet are splitting the quartets over 6 concerts, each concert consisting of an early, a middle and a late quartet finishing with the B flat major quartet, Opus 130 No.13 complete with the Grosse Fuge.

Each concert will be performed in 4 locations, London's Wigmore Hall, Hamburg's Laeiszhalle, St. George's in Liverpool and the Sage, Gateshead. The first concert done in Hamburg on Sunday, with repeats at the Wigmore Hall (Monday 3rd), Liverpool (4th) and Gateshead (9th). The concert series is then roughly one group per month, finishing in June. So you have plenty of time to absorb this challenging music, before moving to the next concert.

Since 2006 the quartet have had a residency at the Guildhall School, where they coach chamber music and give masterclasses; in addition two of the quartet's players have individual pupils and the school.

In a move which is becoming increasing common, a CD set will be released in the Autumn. This will be ensemble's first live recording, in some ways a daring move considering the challenges of the quartet cycle, but one which will, I think, be repaid in the opportunities for spontaneity and vividness. With good quartet playing, there is much to be caught 'on the wing' when a group plays and interacts live, subtle elements which can easily be ironed out in the studio recording. So, though a live recording can be a challenge for the ensemble, it can bring immense rewards. The recording is being made at the Snape Maltings rather than on the wing at one of the concert.

1 comment:

  1. Could have been better if you have inserted some clip for quick listening. Anyways, thanks for sharing the info here. This is going to be great.


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