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Revolutionary Drawing Room

Wednesday 2 December 2020 at 7.45PM
Online

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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