The quartet has performed widely throughout the UK; in venues such as the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room, and their continental tours have included a performance in the presence of the former Czech president Vaclav Havel. Formed in 2006 at the Royal Academy of Music, they are currently being guided by the Belcea Quartet.
This concert features works by the three most influential composers of string quartets. Haydn’s incredible strides in quartet compositional technique hugely inspired and motivated both Mozart and Beethoven.
Op 103, was composed in 1803 while Haydn’s health was failing him. He was unable to complete the work, but subsequently allowed the fragment to be published by itself, as Op 103. He added the following words to the score, a quote from his own chorale Der Greis: “Gone is all my strength, old and weak am I.”
Tereza Privratska (Violin 1)
Julia Loucks (Violin 2)
Stephanie Edmundson (Viola)
Lauren Steel (Cello)
String Quartet in D minor
Op 103 J F Haydn
String Quartet No 16 in E-flat major
W A Mozart
String Quartet No 4 in G major
Op 64 J F Haydn
String Quartet No 11 in F minor
Op 95 “Serioso” L V Beethoven
By the time Mozart came to compose the E flat major Quartet, K428, he seems to have felt that Haydn’s ‘new and special style’ of musical discourse was now his own, and that the time was right for further exploration. The opening unison theme of K428 is remarkable for its chromatic enrichment of the tonic triad, and this sets the pattern for many of the movement’s subsequent harmonic adventures.
Haydn’s Op 64 no.4, composed in 1790, is part of a set of 6 which are representative of fully mature, classical quartet writing, containing musical “conversations” among the four instrumental parts.
Finally, Beethoven composed his Opus 95 string quartet in 1810. It is the first of his quartets to be dedicated, not to a noble patron as the earlier ones had been, but to a very good friend from the middle class – Nikolaus von Zmeskall; and it was the first and only quartet to which he gave a subtitle: “Serioso.”
Beethoven took the foundations laid by Haydn and Mozart and brought the form of the string quartet to its most advanced state for the time, challenging the listener with his harmonies, voicing, and structure.
Why Jubilee? The quartet was formed in London where all four members live on the Jubilee Line!