By guest writer Julie Berridge
On November 10, we will be enriched by the music of Hayden, Bartok and Beethoven, played by The Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc. Read more about the concert here – http://music-toronto.com/quartets/arthur_Leblanc.htm
The evening opens with Haydn’s Quartet in G Major, Op. 77, No.1. Commissioned by Prince Joseph Lobkowitz and composed in 1799, it is one of Haydn’s most modern quartets. It’s a relaxed and light-hearted work. Sometimes unadorned. Sometimes embellished. And from start to finish, catchy and playful.
Like Many of Bartok’s pieces, Quartet No. 4 has an archlike structure. The first and fifth movements share related themes, as do the second and fourth. The third movement stands alone. Movements I, III and V are approximately six minutes long, and movements II and IV are about 3 minutes long. The first movement transitions from clusters of notes to full cords. The second movement is quick. Full of trills, fast scales, and vibrato. In the third movement, we hear elements of the folk and night music that Bartok is so well-known for. Bartok’s pizzicato, the slapping sounds of the strings against the fingerboard, resulting from the aggressive plucking of the strings can be heard in the fourth movement. The final movement features a recast of many of the themes in the first movement.
Beethoven’s Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, “Rasumovsky”, opens in the first movement with an aura of mystery but soon transitions into what has been described as “party music accompanied by fireworks”. A playground frolic with notes tossing back and forth. The second movement is composed in the style of a Venetian boat song. The third is delicate and beautifully intertwined, leading us to the final movement, a fast and vigorous fugue.