Every year, during the summer, the resident string quartet at Stanford University holds a Chamber Music seminar. This year, the seminar runs from June 19th to the 26th.
I attended a terrific concert this afternoon, at which the Quartet performed the following:
String quartet Op. 20, number 2
Sextet from the Opera Capriccio
Scaramouche for duo pianos
I enjoyed the concert thoroughly. There was music for every taste, dating from the 1700 for Haydn, 1942 for Strauss, and 1937 for the Scaramouche by Milhaud.
For me, the Haydn was at the very top. I am always amazed by the originality, innovation, and creativity of chamber music by Haydn. The Op. 20 quartet begins with solo cello, and later movements continue to feature a lovely warm melody for violin. Yet something occurs in Haydn’s music that foreshadows the emergence of revolutionary quartets by Beethoven very late in Beethoven’s life. THAT is the mark of amazing genius. Haydn was Beethoven’s teacher, and when Beethoven died in 1827, one could hear the amazing impact that Haydn had on his student.
Here is a section of the Hadn Quartet Op. 20 number 2: