Dec 2, 2020 - 8:00 pm EST
Original broadcast date: December 2, 2020
Join James Ehnes, the NAC Orchestra’s new Artist in Residence, and his friends from the NAC Orchestra, in this chamber music concert recognizing the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.
BEETHOVEN String Quintet in C major, Op. 29 (35”)
Adagio molto espressivo
BEETHOVEN Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20 (40”)
Adagio – Allegro con brio
Tempo di menuetto
Tema con variazioni (Andante)
Scherzo (Allegro molto e vivace)
Andante con moto alla marcia - Presto
In Beethoven’s entire output of string music, the String Quintet in C major, Op. 29 is his only full-length string quintet. Written in 1801, at a time where he was truly confronting his fate of his inevitable deafness, none of that turmoil can be heard. It is tranquil, rich and voluptuous, with the lower strings enhanced by the second viola (played by James Ehnes). Often overshadowed by his string quartets, it is considered a treat to hear this rarely performed, and strangely neglected, quintet.
Beethoven’s Septet, on the other hand, was written in 1799, before any realization of his impending deafness. It quickly became one of his most popular works for its cheery, optimistic, playful and sparkling nature, much to his great chagrin. (He later said he wished he could burn the work!) Featuring the unusual ensemble of violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, bassoon and horn, it is written in the divertimento style (considered pop music at its time) with six contrasting movements.