As part of the Proms, Jonathan James delivered a series of ‘inside the music’ talks. One of them was before our performance, the aim being to shed light on the visionary nature of Beethoven’s String Quartets. This was a great opportunity to talk about the narrative within the music and to help new audience members to find a point of connection with the music. My nine year old son was at the talk and was totally entranced by the enthusiasm and clarity of his delivery.
As documented by Prombassador Guy Withers.
As part of the talk, chromaticism was discussed and why it is placed in music. Jonathan linked this to the narrative of longing and suffering that he perceived within the music and described how we had been experimenting with the lighting states to help reflect this. It was also great that members of the Quartet were at the talk, as he was able to engage them in the conversation with his audience. They described how playing Beethoven’s Opus 132 was ‘a new journey every time. The same mountain to climb but with new weather.’