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RTÉ Contempo Quartet2

RTÉ Cotempo Concerts continue 2018

8th January - 5th May 2018
RTÉ Cotempo Concerts continue 2018

RTÉ Contempo 2018

Limerick City Gallery of Art is delighted to present 

RTÉ ConTempo Quartet will continue to perform the complete Beethoven Cycle after their very successful autumn/winter series in LCGA.  

FEATURING: Bogdan Sofei:violin 1;  Ingrid Nicola: violin 2;  Andreea Banciu: viola;  Adrian Mantu: cello

Tickets at the door on the night,   6pm start

  • Thursday 11th January 2018 concert will feature the String Quartet No. 5 in A major. Op 18 together with Ina Boyle’s String Quartet (1934) and Jane O’ Leary’s the passing sound of forever….(2013-15).


By the end of Beethoven’s Op. 18 Quartets, Mozart continued to exert an influence and Haydn was still composing. The resulting creative tension between the past and Beethoven’s ambition to forge a new musical language became more pronounced.

The most Mozartian of all Beethoven’s Quartets in design and execution, the Fifth Quartet owes much, including its key signature, to Mozart’s Eighteenth Quartet (K464).

Anticipating the granitic intensity of the late quartets, the Eleventh Quartet charts how far Beethoven had travelled in the preceding decade. He labelled it his ‘Quartetto Serioso’.

Jane O’Leary’s deeply personal the passing sound of forever uses the opening phrase of Op 95 and reminds us that life is to be savoured and remembered in both good times and bad.

Ina Boyle was one of the most serious-minded Irish composers of her generation. The distinguishing tone of her 1934 String Quartet is one of gentle rhapsody, her harmonic language indebted to the English school of the early 20th Century.




  • Thursday 8th February 2018 concert will feature String Quartet No. 6, Op. 18 No. 6 in B-flat together with Ian Wilson Her Charms Invited; Beethoven String Quartet No. 13, Op. 130 in B-flat

By the time he completed his last Op. 18 String Quartet (No. 6) in 1800, Beethoven’s sights were fixed on the future. The new century brought with it the emerging creative spirit of Romanticism. Its birth can be heard in the uncontainable emotions of the Sixth Quartet, whose febrile passions span the emotional gamut from soaring joy to depthless sorrow.

The six-movement Thirteenth Quartet (Op. 130) is the Sixth Quartet writ larger – both are in the aspirational key of B-flat – but with greater emphasis, urgency and precision of feeling.

Ian Wilson’s Her Charms Invited (2010) was ‘inspired by, and based upon’ ornamentations used in traditional Irish sean-nós singing. Re-cast within a contemporary musical language, the result demonstrates how accomodating the string quartet can be.




  • Thursday 8th March 2018 concert will feature String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127 in E-flat, Deirdre Gribbin Calum’s Light and String Quartet No. 16, Op. 135 in F


Beethoven’s last string quartets  – composed in the four years before his death in March, 1827 – herald the dawn of complexity and modernity.

The first – No. 12 (Op. 127) – sets the tone for what follows. Deeply introspective yet brimming with emotions of every hue, it marked the beginning of the end for Beethoven’s compositional life. It also introduces a sense of intractable mystery in music of sinewy toughness brought to philosphical heights by the majestic Op. 135 Quartet.

In the pinnacle of the string quartet form, the Sixteenth (and final) Quartet is a rhetorical masterpiece that asks and then answers its own query ‘Must it be?’ with a resounding ‘It must be!’

Inspired by a Hebridean folktale, Deirdre Gribbin’s Calum’s Light (2007) is richly mysterious and magical.



  • Thursday 5th April 2018 concert will feature John Kinsella String Quartet No. 3 and String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132 in A minor


In his last quartets, Beethoven seems possessed by an urge to test the limits of what music can convey. Whether Beethoven meant his late quartets as self-analysis or unchecked confession remains unknown. (The investigation of the interior self was a novel notion, its codification by Sigmund Freud still decades away.) But their power to communicate with unfettered emotional directness renders them as some of the most potent of artistic testimonies.

The five-movement Fifteenth Quartet (Op. 132) was completed while in ill health and begins in shadow, plumbs the darkest depths and ends in sublime sweetness.

John Kinsella’s Third Quaret (1977) carries some of the chiaroscuro anxiety of the Op. 132, its decidedly more modern sensibilty revealing the string quartet as a still cogent and compelling form.




  • Thursday 3rd May 2018 concert will feature Andrew Hamilton new work (RTÉ commission); String Quartet, Op. 133, ‘Grosse Fugue’; and  
     String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131 in C-sharp minor


Beethoven’s late Quartets reached an unparalleled peak of inspiration. Couched in music of daunting complexity, they seem pregnant with ideas and emotions and communicate with compelling directness, their every utterance movingly profound.

Originally the finale to his Op. 131 Quartet, the Grosse Fugue is a granitic, gnarly and gnomic creation. It confounded public and pundits alike – who considered it provocatively modern – at its 1826 premiere.

Moving from abject despair to elated joyfulness, the seven-movement Fourteen Quartet (Op. 131) plumbs the darkest depths and reaches sublime heights in music of intense introspection.

On hearing it, Schubert asked: ‘After this, what is left for us to write?’ With a reputation for creating music that ‘lingers in the mind with earworm-like tenacity’ (Irish Times), Andrew Hamilton’s new RTÉ-commissioned work provides one answer…


Tickets at the door on the night,   6pm start

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