Masterpieces by Beethoven and Brahms demonstrate the depth and power of chamber music.
Beethoven’s string quartets are journals of his restless experimentation. The ‘Razumovsky’ quartets were composed for a Russian Count, who was fortunate enough to receive some of Beethoven’s most radical music, a challenge to performers and listeners.
The second of the Razumovsky quartets is full of sudden shift of mood, strange excursions and mysterious silences. There’s a sense of a great inner drama playing out as Beethoven seeks to express the human condition.
The rapturous opening of Brahms’s String Quintet No.2 makes five musicians sound like 50. Invigorating and soaring, this is Brahms at his peak: rich in melody, and intricate yet spontaneous, rigorous but emotive.
This is music to revisit and contemplate for a lifetime.