String Quartet No.3

(1975)

by Benjamin Britten

Description
String quartet
Duration
28
Genres
String Quartet
Commission
Written for the Amadeus Quartet
First Performance
19.12.76, Snape Maltings,Aldeburgh: Amadeus String Quartet
Availability

Study score 0-571-52308-0 and set of parts 0-571-52309-9 on sale

Programme Notes
Benjamin Britten String Quartet no 3 Op. 94 The five movements of the Third Quartet form an arch, the main weight being borne by the outer movements, while the middle movements are in the nature of intermezzi. This divertimento-like structure is enhanced by the titles given to each movement though the substance of the Quartet is far from divertimento-like. Its starting point is, rather, the fantasy and virtuosity of the Cello Suites, and it belongs to their essentially serious world. The first movement is an elegiac Andante: two sardonic Scherzi frame and Adagio, whose pure and transparent tonality finds and apotheosis in the Finale – a slowly moving and wonderfully relaxed passacaglia, composed in Venice. The work was finished in November 1975. Colin Matthews

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News & Reviews

'String Quartet No 3' reviews

'...it will stand as one of his most enduring creations...the closing passacaglia, which is entitled 'La Serenissima', uses material from Britten's last opera Death in Venice...[and] is one of Britten's most haunting inspirations.' Peter Heyworth, The Observer, 2 January 1977 Read more

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