String Quartet, Op. 133, ‘Grosse Fugue’
- Elaine Agnew
Ready, Steady, Go!
String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131 in C-sharp minor
Beethoven’s late Quartets reached an unparallelled peak of inspiration. Couched in music of daunting complexity, they seem pregnant with ideas and emotions and communicate with compelling directness, their every utterance movingly profound.
Originally the finale to his Op. 131 Quartet, the Grosse Fugue is a granitic, gnarly and gnomic creation. It confounded public and pundits alike – who considered it provocatively modern – at its 1826 premiere.
Moving from abject despair to elated joyfulness, the seven-movement Fourteen Quartet (Op. 131) plumbs the darkest depths and reaches sublime heights in music of intense introspection.
On hearing it, Schubert asked: ‘After this, what is left for us to write?’
Elaine Agnew’s energetic Ready, Steady, Go! was commissioned in 2007 by the Dublin Youth Orchestra.
Limerick City Gallery of Art
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