Quatuor no 12 «Quartett-Satz» en do mineur

Franz Schubert

Quatuor no 12 «Quartett-Satz» en do mineur, D 703 has been performed in Arvika, Beaconsfield, Côte-Saint-Luc, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Dorval, Harrington, Köping, Montréal, Olofström, Säffle, Simrishamn, Skellefteå, Stockholm, Trosa, Uppsala and Westmount…

The nineteenth-century English critic Walter Horatio Pater once defined Romanticism as “the addition of strangeness to beauty.” If one understands beauty as the expression of noble sentiments within the framework of classical proportions, and strangeness as relating to something either chimerical, foreign, fabulous or ideal, then the latter applied to the former is indeed a hallmark of composers who like Schubert led the way from Classicism to Romanticism. A direct inheritor of Classical beauty, he managed in his own peculiar way to impart a certain strangeness upon it. This is the very aspect that seemed paramount in the noted musicographer Alfred Einstein’s assessment of the Quartettsatz in C minor, D. 703, which he deemed “not emotional but weird.” This “String Quartet Movement,” composed in 1820 (at once an early and a mature work, written as it was by a 23-year-old composer who had barely eight years left to live) is as clearly and classically conceived as it abounds with novel ideas. Its “weird atmosphere,” writes Einstein, “is increased by the almost continuous tremolo in the ’accompaniment’ or in the theme itself” which permeates to some extent the entire movement. Moreover, as almost always in Schubert’s music, the succession of keys is not quite what one would expect: from the initial, disquieting C minor, the music shifts through unexpected A-flat major and minor-gratifying us on the way with a lofty lyrical theme suddenly interrupted by more vehement spasms-before settling into an elegiac G major to end the exposition. Finally, as a fine way to buttress the movement, Schubert ends it with the opening theme, which he had previously subtracted from the beginning of the recapitulation. Schubert wrote 41 bars of a second movement, an Andante that was sadly left unfinished, like two years later his B-minor symphony… like also his tragically short life.

Jacques-André Houle [x-06]

Quatuor no 12 «Quartett-Satz» en do mineur, D 703

  • Franz Schubert
  • Year of composition: 1820
  • Instrumentation: string quartet
Concerts
23 July 2006
11:00 am
MozartSchubertShostakovich
In person
Harrington (Québec)
20 Octo 2006
8:00 pm
Série QB
KondoSchubertSzlavnics
In person
Montréal (Québec)
4 Dece 2006
8:00 pm
Série QB
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Montréal (Québec)
5 Dece 2006
8:00 pm
Série QB
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Montréal (Québec)
7 Dece 2006
7:30 pm
Série QB
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Côte-Saint-Luc (Québec)
28 Janu 2007
6:00 pm
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Arvika (Sweden)
29 Janu 2007
7:30 pm
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Uppsala (Sweden)
30 Janu 2007
7:00 pm
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Stockholm (Sweden)
31 Janu 2007
7:00 pm
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Skellefteå (Sweden)
1 Febr 2007
7:00 pm
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Köping (Sweden)
3 Febr 2007
4:00 pm
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Simrishamn (Sweden)
4 Febr 2007
6:00 pm
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Olofström (Sweden)
8 Febr 2007
7:00 pm
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Trosa (Sweden)
9 Febr 2007
7:30 pm
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Säffle (Sweden)
4 Marc 2007
3:00 pm
Série QB
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Beaconsfield (Québec)
11 Marc 2007
2:00 pm
Série QB
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Montréal (Québec)
12 Marc 2007
7:30 pm
Série QB
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Westmount (Québec)
13 Apri 2007
7:30 pm
Série QB
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Dollard-des-Ormeaux (Québec)
15 Apri 2007
11:00 am
Série QB
BrahmsOesterleSchubertShostakovichVivier
In person
Dorval (Québec)