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Brighton Festival: The Beethoven Project - Part 2: Elias String Quartet
String Quartet in D major Op. 18 No. 3
String Quartet in F minor Op. 95
String Quartet in B flat major Op. 130 (new finale)
The second of the Elias Quartet’s three concerts this year exploring Beethoven’s string quartets opens with the first quartet he ever composed, the gentle and lyrical Op. 18 No. 3. Of the Op. 95 quartet, Beethoven wrote ‘[it] is written for a small circle of connoisseurs and is never to be performed in public’. That’s because it was written as an experiment on compositional techniques, showing how Beethoven adapted and transformed the form.
The final piece, the Op. 130 quartet, is the culmination of Beethoven’s career: the new finale he added six months after its premiere in 1826 was the last substantial piece he completed before his death.
The Elias String Quartet are originally from France, Scotland and Sweden and take their name from Mendelssohn's oratorio, Elijah (Elias in its German form). The quartet formed in 1998 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where they worked regularly with the late Dr Christopher Rowland. They also spent a year studying at the Hochschule in Cologne with the Alban Berg Quartet.
'The emotional chemistry here was manifestly unusual... pure magic' (The Sunday Telegraph)
'The Elias String Quartet should not really be called a quartet. Although they are four string players, they don't play as four separate musicians but instead as one musical force to be reckoned with. Their performance was beautifully synchronised into one glorious interpretation of Beethoven's String Quartet No 15' (The Herald Scotland)
'The Elias is a quite exceptional quartet' (Gramophone Magazine).
Elias String Quartet tour dates
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Venue: St George's Church
Enquiries: 01273 279448