Late Beethoven: Opus 135

with Simply Quartet

22:30 / Thu 1 Feb. / Grote Zaal Muziekgebouw / € 25,00

2024    Late Beethoven    Thu 1 Feb   
Simply Quartet
Photo : Cristina Ferri

Simply Quartet

Danfeng Shen (violin)
Antonia Rankersberger (violin)
Xiang Lyu (viola)
Ivan Valentin Hollup Roald (cello)

Ludwig van Beethoven

String Quartet no. 16 op. 135

Ignaz Dembscher, the organizer of the premiere of Beethoven’s last string quartet, owed the composer money. In order to obtain the manuscript of Op. 135, Beethoven insisted that Dembscher pay first. When Dembscher asked, “Muss es sein?” (Must it be?), Beethoven famously replied with the canon, “Es muss sein, ja, ja. Heraus mit dem Beutel!” (It must be, yes, yes. Out with the purse!), and incorporated the conversation into his composition.

In Jan Caeyers’ excellent biography of Beethoven, the chapter on the late string quartets is entitled “The Discovery of Heaven.” This is fitting, as these quartets, like Mulisch’s novel, open up a world beyond comprehension. Beethoven’s music expresses the essence of love and pain more powerfully than words ever could. At the height of his creativity, he explores the boundary between thinking and feeling, between matter and spirituality.

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