RTÉ Contempo Quartet – Beethoven Music for a Later Age

Beethoven String Quartet No. 2, Op. 18 No. 2 in G
Raymond Deane Quartet No. 6 (RTÉ commission)
Beethoven String Quartet No. 8, Op. 59 No. 2 in E minor, ‘Razumovsky’

Beethoven’s String Quartets were increasingly marked by a modernity beyond their time. Gleefully Classical in spirit, the Second Quartet is also eager for the new, the Eighth Quartet straining at the leash of tradition. Raymond Deane’s String Quartet VI is an intricate set of collisions between distinctive separate elements.

Conspicuous in Beethoven’s String Quartets is his desire to move his musical language away from the confines of tradition and towards greater complexity of expression. Their searching for a new sophistication anticipates the clinical exploration of music’s building blocks that would only begin to be articulated in the 20th Century.

Rooted in the idioms of Mozart and Haydn, the Second Quartet is more than mere musical mimickry, with surprises aplenty hinting at new directions.