String quartets / Carl Nielsen

The Danish String Quartet

The concerts of the Danish String Quartet had to be cancelled.
String Quartet IV: Nielsen/Beethoven

Carl Nielsen with bust of the opera singer Niels Juel Simonsen 1905

Carl Nielsen with bust of the opera singer Niels Juel Simonsen 1905

© Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen

  • Duration 2h, one interval

Past Dates

10:00 work introduction

“Restless and ruthless in harmony and modulation, yet everything so wondrously innocent and unconscious, as if one were to see a child playing with dynamite” – this is how a contemporary described the effect that young symphony composer Carl Nielsen had on the musical establishment at the turn of the century. With his ability to seemingly view the world as though he was seeing it for the first time, the composer – who was born 150 years ago – gave not only European symphony but also chamber music unexpectedly fresh inspiration. Of special importance for his artistic development was his examination of the string quartet. The young Danish String Quartet, which has placed a particular emphasis on Nielsen’s string quartet oeuvre in the past years, underlines the importance of this composition in its cycle by contrasting two of Nielsen’s contributions to the genre with one of Beethoven’s final string quartets. Because Beethoven’s late work, which broke the traditional barriers of string quartet composition in form as well as expression serves as a measure for the innovative strength of his successor.

Carl Nielsen [1865–1931]
String Quartet No. 3 in E flat major op. 14 [1897/98]

Carl Nielsen
String Quartet No. 4 in F major op. 44 [1919]

Ludwig van Beethoven [1770–1827]
String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor op. 131 [1825/26]

The Danish String Quartet
Frederik Øland, violin
Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin
Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola
Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event
in collaboration with the Royal Danish Embassy Berlin on the occasion of the Carl Nielsen year 2015.
With generous support of Wilhelm Hansen Fonden.