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CASTLEMAINE Fri 31/03/23 6:00PM Castlemaine Town Hall

Three inspiring string quartets, inspired by the Classical tradition.

Beethoven was surely inspired by Haydn, but could Haydn have been inspired by Beethoven? By the time Haydn wrote his Op 77, Beethoven was establishing himself as the formidable voice of his generation, not least as Haydn’s worthy successor in the field of string quartet writing. In the Haydn, it’s possible to hear, if not the direct competition with the iconoclastic young Beethoven, his influence on the tastes of the time, with adventurous harmonies and dynamics, and a minuet that’s clearly too fast for dancing.

Beethoven’s Op 95 is a favourite of quartets and audiences alike: impetuous, dramatic, and simply overflowing with astonishing musical ideas. While it fully earns its moniker of “Serioso”, the stern Beethoven stereotype evaporates in the quartet’s final moments in a burst of joy.

An Entr’acte is a piece to be played in between other larger works. Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning American composer Caroline Shaw’s intermezzo was directly inspired by the Haydn quartet in this program, refracting and riffing on its musical language.

Sophie Rowell VIOLIN
Musicians of Melbourne Chamber Orchestra

Josef Haydn
String Quartet No 67 in F major
Caroline Shaw
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No 11 in F minor