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SALZBURG FESTIVAL | CONCERT 2013

Beethoven Cycle 1

Stiftung Mozarteum

Performers: Hagen Quartet
Works by Ludwig v. Beethoven

Beethoven Cycle 2

Stiftung Mozarteum

Performers: Hagen Quartet
Works by Ludwig v. Beethoven

Beethoven Cycle 3

Stiftung Mozarteum

Performers: Hagen Quartet
Works by Ludwig v. Beethoven

Beethoven Cycle 4

Stiftung Mozarteum

Performers: Hagen Quartet
Works by Ludwig v. Beethoven

Beethoven Cycle 5

Stiftung Mozarteum

Performers: Hagen Quartet
Works by Ludwig v. Beethoven

Beethoven Cycle 6

Stiftung Mozarteum

Performers: Hagen Quartet
Works by Ludwig v. Beethoven

SALZBURG FESTIVAL BLOG

Hagen Quartet Presents Beethoven Cycle

17 AUG2013

by FESTSPIELKIEBITZ  12:00 h;
posted in: Concert

Yesterday, the Hagen Quartet gave the highly successful opening concert of its cycle Beethoven Hagen Quartet at the Mozarteum Foundation’s Main Hall. Lukas Hagen, Rainer Schmidt, Veronika Hagen and Clemens Hagen will perform five further concerts at the Salzburg Festival, completing a full set of Ludwig van Beethoven’s string quartets. The art of chamber music at its very best!

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Untitled, © Eva Schlegel

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Beethoven Cycle • Hagen Quartett

Beethoven’s string quartets are among the most important and greatest creations in all of chamber music: from his relatively late reaction to the classical models to the extreme subjectivity and radical spirit of experimentation of the ultimate works, over the course of 28 years they are marked by an incredibly expressive range – a range which is unique in all of musical history and has fascinated and challenged generations of artists and audiences. “In the art of music, having only four voices is nakedness,” Carl Maria von Weber wrote in 1818 about the string quartet genre, which enjoyed an excellent reputation at the time. To present his work in naked form, without any extraneous decoration, was something Beethoven only dared relatively late in life and when he was already successful, at the age of 30, when he published the six quartets of his Opus 18 – and because he could not best the quartets of his teacher Joseph Haydn, which stood on solitary heights, he decided to outdo them in as many details as possible: a grandiose tendency to exaggerate musically strengthened the individualization of the works and their composer. This led from the experimentation of the middle quartets (1806–11) to the late works, five quartets of rare grandiosity which are shrouded in mystery. Beethoven daringly threw traditional concepts of form and content of chamber music over board, thereby ruthlessly overstraining the capacity for musical comprehension of his contemporaries – and throwing open the gates to the musical future, through which, however, his successors dared not pass for a long time. All imaginable historical and sociological types of music are mixed here: folk dances, marches, counterpoint, church modes, dramatic recitative and arias; their five to seven movements last between less than a minute and more than a quarter-hour – and yet they join to form a logical whole. As Beethoven wrote as early as 1820 in one of his conversation-notebooks, “True art is stubborn; it cannot be pressed into flattering forms.”

EDITORIAL 2013

The Concert 2013

by Alexander Pereira and Florian Wiegand

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