(Beethoven with the Missa solemnis, 1819, portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler - Photo public domain)

(Beethoven with the Missa solemnis, 1819, portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler – Photo public domain)

Santa Fe Pro Musica brings you closer to the music.

“Meet this Music” is a pre-concert feature that introduces the audience to the composers and pieces on the program. For our upcoming concert “The Jasper String Quartet,” we are delighted to welcome guest speaker John Clubbe (Ph.D., English and Comparative Literature), who has written many scholarly articles about Beethoven and his times.

Here is a preview of this upcoming talk on Beethoven’s Opus 131, which will take place at 2pm in the St. Francis Auditorium (New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe) before the 3pm Jasper String Quartet concert on Sunday, November 10, 2013:

Beethoven 131
By John Clubbe
(Excerpts)

We think of Beethoven as the creator of symphonies, concertos, and sonatas. Yet over his lifetime he wrote sixteen quartets, and they give us as full and varied a picture of his genius as do his symphonies and other works. During the second half of our program today you’ll be hearing his Quartet in C sharp minor, Opus 131.  But before we get to it, first a little background. Opus 131 is one of the composer’s last five quartets. It is also one of his most sublime creations…

Virtually all string quartets consist of four movements, but several of Beethoven’s last quartets attempt to stretch the possibilities of the medium further.  One of them has five movements and another six. Opus 131 has seven, numbered by Beethoven himself.  Admittedly, two of these movements are very short and serve chiefly as introductions to the movements that follow. I should mention that Beethoven’s wished that no break occur between movements. That’s how this work is usually played, without really stopping. You’ll need to concentrate hard on what you’re hearing, for you’ll have no time to catch your breath or relax momentarily…

Classical music isn’t always serious…Beethoven had a tremendous sense of humor. There are frequent changes of mood in his music. He was a master of the art of the unexpected. He liked to banter, to joke, to make puns. He keeps you off-balance. He fluctuates between seriousness and high spirits, and attempts every mood in-between. Anything was possible with him, both in his behavior and in the music he composed. So it’s OK to smile, even to laugh, to have starts of surprise when you listen to his music, not least in a generally serious piece like this one.

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See the concert:

The Jasper String Quartet

J Freivogel, violin
Sae Chonabayashi, violin
Sam Quintal, viola
Rachel Henderson Freivogel, cello

Sunday, November 10 at 3pm
St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sunday, November 10 at 5:30pm, post-concert dinner with the Jasper String Quartet*
*Reservations through Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office required ($75 per ticket, $40 tax deductible)

Haydn String Quartet in D Major, Op. 76, No. 5 “Largo”
Kernis Sarabande from String Quartet No. 2
Beethoven String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131

$20, $35, $45, $65, Students and Teachers $10
Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office: 505.988.4640
Tickets Santa Fe at the Lensic: 505.988.1234

Meet the Music with special guest John Clubbe one hour before the concert. Learn more about the music you love!

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© Santa Fe Pro Musica 2013

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