Wednesday 8 December 2021 8pm

Haydn            String quartet in C major, op 50 no. 2

Bartok           String quartet no. 4 in C major

Beethoven    String quartet in F major, op 135

Formed in 1998, the Doric Quartet is now firmly established as one of the leading quartets of their generation: they have been Teaching Quartet in Association at the Royal College of Music since 2015.

Their programme begins with the second of Haydn’s ‘Prussian’ quartets, the first set he had written since being presented with Mozart’s ‘Haydn’ quartets, and more serious and experimental than previous sets. Sharing the same key signature, Bartok’s fourth quartet still sounds experimental to many of us after over 90 years with its harsh harmonies in the outer movements and its extended string techniques. In contrast, Beethoven’s last quartet is by far the most approachable of his late quartets, on a smaller scale and, in the scherzo, full of rhythmic humour.The finale even has a joke title — The Difficult Resolution — about which Beethoven gave at least two different explanations!