Ciclo Beethoven / Bartók – IV
Bartók – Quartetto n. 1 op. 7 SZ40
Beethoven – Quartetto n. 14 in do diesis minore op. 131
It is easy to see the connections between the quartets of Beethoven and Bartók by setting the former’s op. 131 beside the latter’s Quartet no. 1. They have in common unusual structures that are apparently different but akin in substance. Op. 131 contains seven movements, some of them short and detached yet in a logical order. In Bartók’s Quartet no. 1, three consecutive movements are distinguished by different accelerations. The constants are a longing for ancient polyphony and glimpses of the future – a future that Beethoven saw in the dances in the Viennese countryside and that Bartók noted in those of the Hungarian plains. They appear to be consecutive works, and yet more than eighty years separate them.
This thrilling comparison is entrusted to the Casals Quartet from Spain, which returns to our Society a decade after its debut. Founded in 1997 at the Reina Sofia School in Madrid, it took the Alban Berg Quartet as its model and emerged from the class of Walter Levin (LaSalle Quartet). The ensemble has won numerous international prizes, performs in the venues that count and is welcomed at the most important festivals and concert series.