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Wrocław | Song of Gratitude

SzymanowskiLutosławski Quartet will perform two string quartets by Karol Szymanowski and Ludwig van Beethoven on 25 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at the National Forum of Music. Both works were created in difficult times for the artists who sought relief in music. Beethoven called one of the movements of his quartet a "holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent".

Szymanowski composed the String Quartet No. 1 in C major, Op. 37 in 1917, during one of the most difficult periods of his life, when the revolutionaries and the Soviet communist party escalated their activities against landowners, forcing him and his family to leave their Tymoszówka estate. Composed in Elisavetgrad and regarded as one of Szymanowski's most inspired works, it had clearly been influenced by those dramatic events. After the premiere of the quartet in Warsaw in March 1924, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz wrote: "In no previous work of his could one feel such hot breath of the south, not the heat of the Sicilian afternoon, nor the mournful glow of Greece, when the Pan’s flute drives hearts to death, but a heat that is succulent, ripe, and fragrant with the grain of the Ukraine… the wailing, that mixes on a hot afternoon… with the high hum of the cicadas". Szymanowski’s comments about the quartet were somewhat restrained: "I do not count it among my favourite compositions, but it does represent something of value".

String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 is one of Beethoven's late works. It is a powerful, monumental, five-movement composition. The composer wrote this piece after recovering from a serious illness which he had feared was fatal. He thus headed the movement with the words, "Holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian mode". However, the fast section bears the annotation "feeling new strength".

More information at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/en/component/nfmcalendar/event/8236