All Beethoven All the Time
By Meda Kessler
Photo courtesy of the Miro Quartet
Artists might not run ultramarathons or mush sled dogs across the frozen tundra, but they have their challenges, too.
For opera sopranos, it might be the “Queen of the Night” aria from The Magic Flute, with all its high Fs. For ballerinas, it could be the 32 fouettes in Swan Lake. For string quartets, the Beethoven cycle ranks equally high on the difficulty scale. This month, the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth and Austin-based Miró Quartet join forces to present a five-day festival featuring 16 string quartets by the noted composer, a feat that is both technically and emotionally demanding. Beethoven’s moods — from happy to brooding — play out in his compositions, and musicians who perform the cycle also must convey these emotions. The members of the quartet, which formed in October 1995, with only a few lineup changes since their debut, acknowledge that the distinctly different personalities of its musicians was a challenge in the beginning but proved to be just right as their varied styles — along with a shared passion and imaginative programs — merged to make them something of a supergroup. For the Fort Worth festival, held at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, each concert features two to six cycles with an intermission. The storied Grosse Fugue, Op. 133, is part of the Nov. 11 performance. Tickets are available as a package or to individual performances.
Nov. 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., cmsfw.org