- John Kinsella
String Quartet No. 3
String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132 in A minor
In his last quartets, Beethoven seems possessed by an urge to test the limits of what music can convey. Whether Beethoven meant his late quartets as self-analysis or unchecked confession remains unknown. (The investigation of the interior self was a novel notion, its codification by Sigmund Freud still decades away.) But their power to communicate with unfettered emotional directness renders them as some of the most potent of artistic testimonies.
The five-movement Fifteenth Quartet (Op. 132) was completed while in ill health and begins in shadow, plumbs the darkest depths and ends in sublime sweetness.
John Kinsella’s Third Quaret (1977) carries some of the chiaroscuro anxiety of the Op. 132, its decidedly more modern sensibilty revealing the string quartet as a still cogent and compelling form.
Limerick City Gallery of Art
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