The Charleston Symphony Orchestra presents a virtual concert Masterworks: A Serious Comedy.
December 5, 2020
Pre-concert Lecture 7:00 pm
Concert 7:30 pm
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
String Quartet in F minor, Op. 95, No. 11, “Serioso”
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme: Suite, Op. 60
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(Image credit: charlestonsymphony.org)
Beethoven was indeed serious about his “Serioso” string quartet. “It is never to be performed in public,” he wrote about the piece. Beethoven was most likely referring to the fact that such an intimate and innovative string quartet would sound out of place when performed next to larger works, such as his own symphonies or concertos. We hope Beethoven will forgive us for ignoring his wishes, since his String Quartet No. 11 is, as its name suggests, a seriously wonderful piece.
Richard Strauss, born in Germany in 1864, was a young talent. He wrote his first composition at age six, and by age 18 had written over 140 works. In the early 1930s Strauss refused to join the Nazi party, yet successfully used his influence to protect his Jewish relatives from being sent to concentration camps. Strauss wrote Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme based on Molière’s comedy of the same name. A charming orchestral suite, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme became an instant favorite of audiences as well as its composer.