Australian Chamber Orchestra presents ACO – Beethoven 250
250 years of Beethoven, in six chapters and seven composers.
What might link Mozart and Vaughan Williams? Schubert and George Crumb? Signposting every 50 years from Beethoven’s birth with a significant composition of each era, this is an opportunity to grasp the sheer magnitude of Beethoven’s enduring influence and the development of music over the past 250 years.
Mozart met the young Beethoven in 1787 when he was sent to study in Vienna by wealthy benefactors in Bonn. However, by that time, Beethoven was already so immersed in Mozart’s music, he even worried that he may have unintentionally imitated him. For Schubert, who composed his ‘Quartettsatz in C minor’ 50 years after Beethoven’s birth, the challenge was how to emerge from the vast shadow cast by Beethoven, in particular his imposing legacy on the string quartet.
If the lightness of the ‘Pizzicato Polka’, co-composed by the brothers Johann Strauss junior and Josef Strauss, works as a cheeky contrast, Vaughan Williams’s ‘The Lark Ascending’, performed by Richard Tognetti, is a continuation of forms once championed by Beethoven: the pastoral form and romance for violin and orchestra.