Sydney Schubert Society - Schubertiade 380: The Late Quartets

St Peters Presbyterian Church, 234 Blues Point Road, North Sydney, 2060

Beethoven| Große Fuge, op.133 Schubert| String Quartet in G Major, D.887

This concert will feature two masterworks of the quartet repertoire. Beethoven’s Große Fuge (Grand Fugue) is considered by many to remain unsurpassed as an example of complete mastery of both string quartet writing, and classical counterpoint. Lauded by 20th century composer, Igor Stravinsky, as “an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever”, the Große Fuge continues to intrigue musicians, audiences, and critics alike just as it did when premiered in 1826. Complete during the same year, Schubert’s final work in the genre, his String Quartet in G Major, shows us a young composer at the height of his compositional powers. Completed when Schubert was 29, the work is referred to as ‘late’, simply because the composer lived only until he was 31. A work of symphonic proportions, the G Major quartet is firmly rooted in Schubert’s mastery of the ‘Art Song’, or Lied. Beautiful melodies are swept along by stunning harmonies, textures, and technical feats that render this work both a virtuosic tour de force as well as a deeply glistening jewel in the collection quartets from the classical masters.