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This second concert in Quatuor Ébène’s six-concert cycle of the complete Beethoven quartets juxtaposes works from the composer’s early era with one of his transcendent late works.
The Quartet No 6 (op 18 No 6) is striking in its contrasts and includes a celebrated slow passage, ‘La Malinconia’, which acts as an introduction to the finale. Written more than 20 years later, the Quartet No 15 (op 132) includes an expansive, rapt slow movement conceived by Beethoven as a song of thanks for recovery from a serious illness.
Quatuor Ébène’s relationship with the Verbier Festival goes back to 2007, when its members attended the Academy. In 2020, marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the French quartet performs a complete cycle of the composer’s quartets at the Église de Verbier. The series is part of its ‘Beethoven Around the World’ tour, which extends over 18 months and more than 20 countries. The players have described the composer’s quartets as “16 masterpieces that form a canon of unparalleled breadth and depth,” adding that, “In themselves they represent an odyssey, a round-the-world voyage.”BACK TO THE PROGRAMME