Early, Middle and Late: Britten, Schumann and Beethoven

Early, Middle and Late: Britten, Schumann and Beethoven

Solem Quartet

In Britten’s Three Divertimenti, we hear the composer’s energy and vigour at the beginning of his career dipping his toe into the waters of the string quartet genre. Schumann wrote his contribution to the genre, three quartets, almost simultaneously within the summer of 1842. The third quartet is an impulsively romantic work: tender and affectionate with moments of heart-breaking melancholy but also boundless joy. Schumann was a dedicated musicologist as well as composer, and spent much of his time studying the works of those who went before him; his ears would have been ringing with the Late Quartets of Beethoven. In this programme, we perform the first of these, opus 127, where Beethoven had pushed his compositional voice to a new realm of exploration.

Benjamin Britten – 3 Divertimenti
Robert Schumann – String Quartet no. 3 in A major, op. 41
Interval
Ludwig van Beethoven – Quartet no. 12 in E flat major, op. 127