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Australian String Quartet: Beethoven


Mon 11 Nov 2013, 7:00pm–9:00pm

Where: Conservatorium Theatre, Griffith University, 140 Grey Street, South Bank, Queensland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $70.80
  • Concession: $52.40
  • Student: $29.00
  • Additional fees may apply

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Alfred Schnittke’s work welcomes all periods of music in a polystylistic embrace. The third string quartet refers to Shostakovich’s musical signature and includes quotations from Stabat Mater by Laussus and Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge. Was this defiance? In the Soviet Union, a lot of music was frowned upon – perhaps Schnittke was saying nothing should be ruled out.

Beethoven’s late string quartets are extreme art. They disarm us with their adventurous harmonies, radiant melodies and abrupt contrasts of mood. In the B flat quartet, a banal dance leads to the sustained lyricisim of the famous Cavatina. The original finale was a 20 minute double fugue, the Grosse Fuge that pushed the player’s technique to its limits. For Beethoven’s publisher it was too much, and the composer was persuaded to write something shorter and more crowd pleasing. In this concert, the ASQ puts the Grosse Fuge back in its original setting, finishing this concert and the year with one of the most significant quartets of all time.