Sunday, August 28, 2016

Chamber Festival Concert

I attended the last concert of the chamber music festival last night--this is the 38th year it has been presented! This concert was the Shanghai Quartet (who are, oddly enough, based in New Jersey) and they played two pieces: the Mendelssohn F minor quartet and the Beethoven Quartet in A minor, op. 132. My violinist friend attended the concert the night before and was raving about how good their Haydn op. 20 no. 4 was. Wish I had gone! Anyway, I won't give a review of the concert, I just want to say that their playing of the slow movement (Molto adagio; Andante) of the Beethoven was as good as I have ever heard. This may be the best slow movement ever written and I say that having heard a lot of slow movements. We in the biz call this movement the "heiliger dankgesang" movement from the beginning of the lengthy title Beethoven places on it: "Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart." And yes, it is in the Lydian mode, about the only piece I can think of!

So, let's just listen to the whole quartet. You will thank me later. This is the Alban Berg Quartet. If you just want to listen to the Heiliger Dankgesang, it is at the 17:45 mark. If you go to YouTube there is even a link you can click on. But you really need to listen to the whole piece. Then, if you wish, you may go back and just listen to the slow movement. You're welcome.

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