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Chamber Music

Synopsis

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Iturbi (Pianoforte)
The Pro-Arte String Quartet: A. Onnou (1st Violin); L. Halleux (2nd Violin); G. Prevost
(Viola); R. Maas (Violoncello)
Haydn's genial, warm nature, which comes out in most of his music, is generously distinct in his String Quartets. Of all 'classical' works, these are, perhaps, the most easygoing to hear. When he wrote this Quartet he had learnt something from the later works of Mozart, who in his earlier years had studied Haydn's style with great advantage.
The Quartet is in the usual four Movements, of which the First is vigorous, and the Second sweetly flowing. The Third is a Minuet, and the Last a sparkling, happy, dance-like Movement.
"and of the greatest of Beethoven's works"
"A monstrous freak"...
Such are current opinions of Beethoven's Great Fugue (Grosse Fuge). They are by no means in conflict. The piece has a huge ungainliness, yet there is a power of muscle and mind that none but Beethoven could have wielded. Originally, the Fugue was written as the last movement of the Quartet in B Flat, Op.130; but Beethoven's publisher persuaded him to substitute a more genial finale for that work and issued the Great Fugue separately as Op.133.
It is, perhaps, the longest Fugue ever written, as the present time-table suggests.
Debussy's solitary String Quartet has established itself as a favourite, because of its pellucid ease of style and charming tunefulness.
It is in four Movements.
The First Movement is well described by the directions given to the players: 'Animated, and very decided.' In the first few bars is given out a sort of 'motto' — a tune which runs like a thread through the whole Quartet.
The Second Movement is very humorous - almost grotesque. It is nearly all made out of the 'motto' Tune.
The Third Movement is a subdued, emotional piece, in which the instruments are muted a good deal.
The Fourth Movement is a kind of mixture of capricious remarks and emphatic statements.

Contributors

Pianoforte: Iturbi
The Pro-Arte String Quartet (1st Violin): A. Onnou
The Pro-Arte String Quartet (2nd violin): L. Halleux
The Pro-Arte String Quartet (viola): G. Prevost
The Pro-Arte String Quartet (violoncello): R. Maas

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