String quartets / Arnold Schönberg

Novus String Quartet

String Quartet V: Schönberg/Beethoven

Koloman Moser, pattern of cloth for Vienna Workshops

Koloman Moser, pattern of cloth for Vienna Workshops

© Wikimedia Commons

  • Duration 1h 50, one interval

Past Dates

16:00 work introduction

String quartets are a genre inviting the audience to concentrated listening, yet in Arnold Schönberg’s first quartet those allowing their attention to wander are rewarded: after all, there is, as Anton Webern commented, “so to speak, not one single note in this work that does not become a topic.” However, it necessitates interpreters with a pronounced sense for balance – like something that young Korean Novus String Quartet is celebrated for, not least for the well-balanced nature of its performing style. Schönberg incidentally confessed that he sought advice from Beethoven while composing: he learned from him “how to create variety out of unity; how to create new forms out of basic material; how much can be achieved by slight modifications if not by developing variation out of rather insignificant, little formulations.” Schönberg’s first string quartet that was given an opus number follows a Beethoven quartet that also represents a significant beginning: it was Quartet Op. 127, after all, with which the composer in 1825 introduced the legendary series of his late quartets, breaking the mould in terms of both form and expressivity.

Arnold Schönberg [1874–1951]
String Quartet No. 1 in D minor op. 7 [1904/05]

Ludwig van Beethoven [1770–1827]
String Quartet No. 12 in E flat major op. 127 [1824/25]

Novus String Quartet
Jaeyoung Kim, violin
Young-Uk Kim, violin
Seungwon Lee, viola
Woongwhee Moon, cello

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event