Performance at Hobart Town Hall.

Britain’s Elias String Quartet makes a much longed for return to Tasmania with three very different takes on the string quartet – from the adherence to form exemplified by Haydn to the intense emotions of the middle Beethoven quartets, and to the contemporary exploration of this most famous of chamber music combinations by Australia’s Matthew Hindson, in the world premiere of his much-anticipated third quartet.

At their premiere performance in 1806 Beethoven’s Razumovsky quartets were derided by both their performers and audience as unreasonably difficult both to play and to listen to. Beethoven famously replied “they are not for you, but for a later age.”

Now, in that later age and bookended by Haydn and Hindson, Beethoven’s second Razumovsky forms the centrepiece of a remarkable journey guided by the Elias String Quartet through the development of chamber music’s most popular form.

Joseph HAYDN String Quartet in F major, op 77 no 2 Matthew HINDSON String Quartet no 2 (2013) Commissioned for Musica Viva Australia by Julian Burnside, AO QC Ludwig van BEETHOVEN String Quartet no 8 in E minor, op 59 no 2 ‘Razumovsky’