Sunday, November 29, 2015

Storm Quintet of Beethoven

The `Storm' string quintet was composed in 1801. It is in C Major. It is actually a viola quintet as it is scored for the conventional string quartet with an additional viola (2 violins, 2 violas and a cello). It has four movements - Allegro moderato; Adagio molto espressivo; Scherzo; Allegro Presto. It is Beethoven with his simplicity of expressions; they unfold with effortless ease. The work is cheerful and confident sounding. It has a great lyrical flow and reminds you of the serene chamber works of Haydn and Mozart. The first violin has been given a soaring part in this quintet. The opening Allegro sets the mood of this work with its lyricism and ease of flow, making up two major themes. It has a shade of melnacholy in few places. The slow movement is melodic with a theme that is played over pizzicato. The flow is interrupted by expressions from minor keys. The scherzo is taken at a foot stomping pace and has a lyrical trio. The finale starts off with a tremolo that is utterly dramatic and it turns into a melody that rises to the violin's upper range of register. There is a fugal passage that extends across all the instruments to bring the composition to a close. It is a gem of a string quintet.