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7:30 PM , Royal Festival Hall , London

2012: Absolute Jest


John Adams Absolute Jest
Bartók Four Orchestral Pieces
Beethoven Symphony No. 8

Karina Canellakis conductor
Heath Quartet
London Philharmonic Orchestra

Comedy is a serious business. Beethoven knew that in 1812 when his firecracker of an Eighth Symphony cheerfully booted the Classical rule-book out of the window; and John Adams certainly knew it in 2012 when he leafed through Beethoven’s string quartets and transformed them into Absolute Jest: a one-off concerto for string quartet that takes Beethoven seriously enough to laugh along with him. As soloists, the Heath Quartet definitely get it: and in this 2020 Vision concert, conductor Karina Canellakis gets it too, pairing Beethoven and Adams with a multicoloured masterpiece by Bartók from 1912, proving that the best jokes never lose their bite.

In collaboration with Scala Radio
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Ticket prices

  • £14
  • £65

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