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Liverpool String Quartet: Schubert's Death and the Maiden

Saturday April 21, 2018 at 19:30
Nordic Church and Cultural Centre, Liverpool
£10, £6 students, free to under 12s
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Crisantemi - Giacomo Puccini
  2. String Quartet No 4 in C minor Op 18 No 4 - Ludwig van Beethoven
  3. String Quartet No 14 in D minor, 'Death and the Maiden' D 810 - Franz Schubert

The Liverpool String Quartet returns to the fabulous Nordic Church in Liverpool on April 21st, with a programme of dramatic and evocative chamber music masterpieces.

Puccini wrote his elegy Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums) in a single evening in 1890, after he heard about the death of Amedeo di Savoia, an Italian duke who had briefly served as King of Spain in the 1870s. It is a single movement of great emotional intensity, the main theme of which Puccini used in his third opera, Monon Lescaut (1893). It was also arranged for string orchestra, the quartet version is rarely heard.

Beethoven’s Op 18 No 4 was published in 1801 as part of a set of six string quartets, the first quartets that Beethoven had composed. It is in C minor, a key which has always been associated with Beethoven at his most dramatic, and this quartet is no exception, right from the start we are plunged straight into a stormy opening theme, and the whole quartet is full of dark urgency, turbulence and tension.

Schubert’s String Quartet No 14 in D minor, also known as ‘Death and the Maiden’, was composed in 1824, and is widely acknowledged as one of the greats of the chamber music repertoire. It was written shortly after Schubert had suffered a serious illness, and realised that his health was of real cause for concern, the theme of death is palpable in all four movements of the quartet. The title ‘Death and the Maiden’ comes from the theme of the second movement which was taken from a song Schubert wrote in 1817 of the same name. In the song, a terror-stricken young maiden begs death to leave her alone, but death replies ‘I am not rough, you shall sleep gently in my arms’. Despite the deep melancholy of this work, the music is beautiful, enriching and incredibly moving.

Nordic Church and Cultural Centre
138 Park Lane
L1 8HG
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