Cuarteto Casals plays Beethoven's string quartets in c minor, C major and c sharp minor.
Spanish string quartet Cuarteto Casals will perform all of Beethoven’s string quartets in 2020 – the big Beethoven year. The 16 quartets came in three phases throughout his lifetime – and each phase comprised a dizzying stride forward for the art of the quartet. The acclaimed Cuarteto Casals debuted at Konserthuset in 2007 and have returned several times, most recently in 2016.
The fourth of Beethoven’s sixteen string quartets is in C minor, his most pathos-infused key. This music is also dark and uneasy, with strong emotions and fiery intensity. C major, on the other hand, was his most joyful and optimistic key, which we can hear in the third of the acclaimed so-called Razumovsky Quartets, dedicated to Count Andreas Razumovsky. The quartet begins with a mystical and billowing feel, with no real direction, but soon explodes into a euphoric C-major chord.
Beethoven’s Opus 131 String Quartet is from his later period. It is as if in the music, he is seeking freedom for thought and soul. This may also be why this piece speaks to us so powerfully, with its warmth, imagination and intensity, across all barriers of history. The quartet also has fully seven movements that span the entire emotional register.