Northern Chamber Orchestra soloists in Didsbury

Nicholas Ward violin | Simon Gilks violin | Richard Muncey viola | Cara Berridge cello

Beethoven String Quartet in C minor Op. 18 No. 4 | Shostakovich String Quartet No. 12 in D flat major Op. 133 | Tchaikovsky String Quartet in D Op. 11

Tickets: £15.00 | Over 65 £12.00 | Students and Under 18 Free

A feature in every NCO season is the regular appearance of the principal players as the NCO Soloists. In this concert, they tackle three stunning works from the string repertoire.

Beethoven’s C minor string quartet represents the composer at the height of his powers, such as he had reached by around 1800. The key of C minor has always been associated with Beethoven in vigorous mood and this quartet is no exception, with none of the pathos usually associated with a minor key, instead a certain lighthearted optimism runs through the piece.

Shostakovich dedicated his twelfth string quartet to his friend Dmitri Tsyganov, first violinist of the Beethoven Quartet. When Tsyganov asked him what the piece was like the composer replied “It’s a symphony, a symphony!” – and it certainly is a grand work, the second movement of which is almost orchestral in effect. It is a whirlwind of minor to major key, ranging from tumultuous scherzo, through funeral march, to its powerful, triumphant close.

Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet in D was the first of the three completed string quartets that were published in his lifetime. The melancholic second movement, Andante cantabile, was subsequently arranged by the composer for string orchestra and has become famous in its own right. This quartet has become one of the most beloved works of Tchaikovsky’s, as melodic and emotive as the composer’s popular orchestral scores.

Friday 9 November 7.30pm

Christ Church, West Didsbury, Manchester