Beethoven and Britten

Tasmanian String Quartet
Emma McGrath violin
Jennifer Owen violin
Douglas Coghill viola
Jonathan Békés cello

BEETHOVEN String Quartet No 16 in F, Op 135
BRITTEN String Quartet No 2 in C, Op 36

Saturday 14 May
Woolmers Estate, Longford

Saturday 14 May
Woolmers Estate, Longford

Bruch Violin Concerto

The Tasmanian String Quartet returns to historic Woolmers Estate with two key chamber works. Headlining the concert is Beethoven’s String Quartet Op 135, which is not only his final string quartet, but his final completed work in any medium. Was Beethoven solemn and serious at the end of his life? Not at all judging from this upbeat and jovial work. That said, the beautiful slow movement mines a more contemplative vein.

Britten’s String Quartet No 2 dates from a time in the composer’s life when his career was just taking off – it was premièred in 1945, a matter of months after his career-breakthrough opera, Peter Grimes. The quartet was written in honour of 17th-century composer Henry Purcell and premièred precisely 250 years to the day since Purcell died. Its monumental finale is a grand set of variations, a favourite form of Purcell’s (and of late-period Beethoven, for that matter).