String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127 in E-flat
- Deirdre Gribbin
String Quartet No. 16, Op. 135 in F
Beethoven’s last string quartets – composed in the four years before his death in March, 1827 – herald the dawn of complexity and modernity.
The first – No. 12 (Op. 127) – sets the tone for what follows. Deeply introspective yet brimming with emotions of every hue, it marked the beginning of the end for Beethoven’s compositional life. It also introduces a sense of intractable mystery in music of sinewy toughness brought to philosphical heights by the majestic Op. 135 Quartet.
In the pinnacle of the string quartet form, the Sixteenth (and final) Quartet is a rhetorical masterpiece that asks and then answers its own query ‘Must it be?’ with a resounding ‘It must be!’
Inspired by a Hebridean folktale, Deirdre Gribbin’s Calum’s Light (2007) is richly mysterious and magical.
Limerick City Gallery of Art
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