Adrian Butterfield violin
Dominika Fehér violin
Rachel Stott viola
Ruth Alford cello
Beethoven String quartet in B flat op. 130
with Grosse Fuge
String quartet in F op. 135
The Revolutionary Drawing Room performs repertoire of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the age of the great European revolutions, using instruments of a period when political upheavals were matched by changes in styles and tastes both in music and the instruments used. The ensemble has presented all Beethoven’s quartets in a four-year series at St John’s Smith Square, culminating this October with the composer's late quartets.
The opus 130 quartet is played as the composer originally intended – with the mighty Grosse fuge as its final movement. This was considered so extreme by listeners and performers that Beethoven substituted a lighter movement, the fugue being published separately as opus 133. In his last major work, the opus 135 quartet, completed just five months before his death, Beethoven returned to a simpler form. Its final movement is headed ‘The Difficult Decision’, concluding with the phrase ‘It must be’.
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