The Northern Chamber Orchestra (NCO) has come a long way since it was set up in 1967. It now presents a successful, annual series of concerts in Macclesfield and Manchester, which attracts top-flight soloists. The orchestra also performs across the North of England and is regularly included in Orchestras Live programmes across rural areas.
About the pieces
Haydn String quartet in C op. 33 No. 3 Bird | Beethoven String quartet in F op 135 | Dvořák String quartet op. 96 American
During Dvořák’s summer holiday in Iowa in 1893 he composed his string quartet in F, American, in just over two weeks. He aimed to make it especially simple and melodious and succeeded in creating what is possibly the best-loved work in the genre.
Beethoven wrote his last quartet a few months before his death. It has a darkly beautiful slow movement where, at one point, time seems to almost stand still. The finale begins with an ominous slow introduction entitled “the difficult decision”. Muss es sein? (Must it be?) The following Allegro answers the question – Es muss sein! In 1782 Haydn published his opus 33 set of six string quartets; No. 3 in C, Bird, is a joyful work ending with a finale based on a Slavonic dance tune.