This Thursday, Da Camera presents its second concert in their chamber music series this season: Beethoven Perspectives with the London-based Elias String Quartet. For this concert, the group will perform Beethoven's String Quartet No. 1 in F major, No. 9 in C major, and No. 15 in A minor, which represent the three periods of Beethoven's career: the early period that emulates the classical style of Haydn and Mozart, the middle period that is heroic and bombastic, and the late period that is more abstract and introspective.
Martin Saving, the violist for the quartet, describes these versatile styles as part of the challenge in playing Beethoven. The Quartet No. 1 (Op. 18) was written only six years before the Quartet No. 9 (Op. 59), and there is a distinct stylistic difference between the two. "It's hard to find a language or a way to approach him, especially with the Op. 18, because it's hard to know whether you should play them as Haydn or Mozart or whether you should really bring out this revolutionary emblem," says Saving describing the approach to playing these quartets.
Still, despite these challenges, Saving describes every quartet as different and a unique part of Beethoven's repertoire; regarding the composer's desire to always be original, Saving says he "succeeded incredibly well with that." You can hear the Elias String Quartet's perspective on Beethoven this Thursday, November 12th at 8:00 PM at the Wortham Theater Center. More information can be found on Da Camera's website.
Houston Public Media’s Joshua Zinn spoke with Martin Saving.