Saint Nicholas is one of the best-known saints, but his reputation today as a friend of children hardly reflects his role in the history of the church. In pieces of music in which he plays a role it is mostly his many miracles which is given attention to. The oratorio which is presented here is different in that it concentrates on the youth of Saint Nicholas who is modelled as an examplary son to his parents. The story is simple: Nicholas prepares for a journey to study in Egypt and Palestine. It is shown how harmonious the relationship with his parents is, and how hard his mother takes it to let him go. Nicholas also has chosen the path of virtue and is determined to resist all worldly temptations. As a kind of opposite number the librettist is introducing Clizio, a fellow student who enjoys worldly pleasures. During the oratorio Nicholas is able to make him see the errors of his ways and Clizio shows repentance…Johan van Veen (2009)
At the heart of Beethoven’s life’s statement as a composer lies the cycle of sixteen string quartets, which, to this day, has retained a special status and reverence. Since 2012, the Elias String Quartet has been immersed in its Beethoven Project, performing all Beethoven’s string quartets at venues throughout the UK. In this live recording, the ensemble captures both the intimacy and grandeur of the works. With an ever-expanding recording catalogue that has been met with widespread critical acclaim, the quartet is delighted to release this disc, the first volume of its complete Beethoven cycle to be recorded live at Wigmore Hall over the coming Seasons.