They played the third Rasumovsky Quartet (Opus 59, No. 3) and the Opus 130 (including Grosse Fuge).
Jun-Dai, Lucía, and Sandy at the Wigmore Hall at 19:30 on 19 April 2013.
The fugue in last movement of Op. 59 No. 3 (which they played at breakneck speed) and the Grosse Fuge are both pretty exhausting to watch. It’s nice once in a while to see a concert of pieces that I know really well, and these are two of the more famous Beethoven quartets. I listened to my parents’ LPs of the string quartets many times growing up. My favourite was Opus 18 No. 4 (which I managed to destroy by leaving it out in the sun until it warped too much for the needle to stay in its groove), but Op. 59 No.3 always sticks in my head, mostly for the cello pizzicato opening of the second movement and for the fugue at the end. I never realised (until watching it) how much of the second movement is pizzicato for the cello.
Wigmore Hall is beautiful, and I’m glad I finally got to see it. I’d very much like to go back. The performance was excellent. Better seats would have been nice (these were the last ones left), but the balance between the instruments was better than I expected, and it was nice to be close enough to really see the players’ intensity.
More than anything, this concert reminded me how much I like chamber music. Seeing it does torture me a little inside, though, as I miss few things more than playing in a string quartet. I suppose seeing Schubert song cycles performed would have a similar effect.