Quartetto di Cremona
Ciclo Beethoven / Bartók – III
Beethoven – Quartetto n. 2 in sol maggiore op. 18 n. 2
Bartók – Quartetto n. 5 SZ 102
Beethoven – Quartetto n. 11 in fa minore op. 95 “Serioso”
For a project as important as our Beethoven/Bartók cycle, we couldn’t do without the string quartet that has been closest to us in recent seasons. The Quartetto di Cremona has been entrusted with two works that are representative of two distinct periods in Beethoven’s style. Op. 18 no. 2 has the classical poise of its predecessors by Mozart and Haydn, whereas op. 95, while maintaining traditional structure and dimensions, employs a harsh harmonic language and a straightforward melodic style that demonstrate a clean break with the past and the necessity of moving toward a not-yet-definable future (which would develop ten years later). Bartók’s Fifth Quartet is one of his best-balanced and most studied works; it has a universal, centralised symmetry built around a Bulgarian-style scherzo that is surrounded by nocturnal music. Its first and last movements are also constructed with centralised symmetry, the first in sonata form, the other as a sequential rondo. Were it not for its dissonances and its rhythms based on folk music of the Danube region, it could have been a neoclassical homage to early Beethoven.