• Thursday, Jan 5, 2012

    Brentano String Quartet Begins Three Concert Series on Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 pm in Weill Recital Hall

    Fragments: Connecting Past and Present Features Newly Commissioned Music Performed Alongside Unfinished Works from Great Composers of the Past
    In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Brentano String Quartet offers Fragments: Connecting Past and Present, six newly commissioned pieces inspired by unfinished works from great composers of the past. Fragments comprises the first two concerts of the quartet’s three concert series this spring in Weill Recital Hall.

    Fragments: Connecting Past and Present Part I takes place on Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. featuring three New York premieres co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall. Charles Wuorinen’s Marian Tropes combines two fifteenth-century fragmenta missarum (movements intended for larger parts of the Mass Ordinary): a “Gloria” by Josquin and a “Kyrie” by Dufay, along with newly composed material, emulating the casual interpenetration of sacred and secular common to the period. Inspired by and presented alongside Franz Schubert’s "Quartettsatz" in C Minor, D. 703, Bruce Adolphe’s Fra(nz)g-mentation uses the lovely theme from Schubert’s unfinished Andante section as well as the more urgent beginning of an uncompleted second section, performed in new rhythmic groupings, to create a breezy and energetic mood. The third New York premiere on the February 16 program is Sofia Gubaidulina’s Reflections on the Theme of B-A-C-H, a reaction to Contrapunctus XVII, J.S. Bach’s great unfinished fugue at the conclusion of the Art of Fugue.

    The concluding Part II of Fragments takes place the following month, on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. The concert begins with Haydn’s final two-movement Quartet in D Minor, Op. 103, and John Harbison’s Finale: Presto, which re-creates, in contemporary terms, Haydn’s constant dialogue between symmetry and asymmetry. Stephen Hartke’s From the Fifth Book reflects upon, and is performed alongside, an Allegretto fragment for string quartet by Dmitri Shostakovich. Hartke’s title suggests that his piece, possibly like Shostakovich’s fragment, is meant to become the first movement of a complete string quartet. The New York premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Mozart Effects is paired with Mozart’s unfinished String Quartet Fragment in E Minor, K.417d. All new works were co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the Brentano String Quartet.

    The Brentano String Quartet returns on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., performing Ferruccio Busoni’s String Quartet No. 2 and Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130, with Große Fuge, Op. 133. (See below for complete program information.)

    Artist Information
    Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. Within a few years of its formation, the quartet garnered the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award; and in 1996 the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center invited them to be the inaugural members of Chamber Music Society Two, a program which has become a coveted distinction for chamber groups and individuals ever since.

    In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano String Quartet has a strong interest in both very old and very new music. It has performed many musical works pre-dating the string quartet as a medium, among them Madrigals of Gesualdo, Fantasias of Purcell, and secular vocal works of Josquin. Also, the quartet has worked closely with some of the most important composers of our time, among them Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, Steven Mackey, Bruce Adolphe, and György Kurtág. The Quartet has commissioned works from Charles Wuorinen, Bruce Adolphe, Steven Mackey, David Horne, and Gabriela Frank. They celebrated their tenth anniversary in 2002 by commissioning ten composers to write companion pieces for selections from Bach's Art of Fugue, the result of which was an electrifying and wide-ranging single concert program.

    The quartet has recorded the Opus 71 Quartets of Haydn, and has also recorded a Mozart disc for Aeon Records, consisting of the K. 464 Quartet and the K. 593 Quintet, with violist Hsin-Yun Huang. A forthcoming release on the Aeon Records label features Beethoven’s Op. 127 and 131 Quartets. In the area of new music, the quartet has released a disc of the music of Steven Mackey on Albany Records. The Brentano Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved," the intended recipient of his famous love confession.


    Program Information

    Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m.
    Weill Recital Hall
    BRENTANO STRING QUARTET

    •• Mark Steinberg, Violin
    •• Serena Canin, Violin
    •• Misha Amory, Viola
    •• Nina Lee, Cello

    FRAGMENTS: CONNECTING PAST AND PRESENT PART I

    CHARLES WUORINEN Marian Tropes (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
    FRANZ SCHUBERT "Quartettsatz" in C Minor, D. 703
    BRUCE ADOLPHE Fra(nz)g-mentation (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Contrapunctus XIII from The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080
    SOFIA GUBAIDULINA Reflections on the Theme of B-A-C-H (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
    CLAUDE DEBUSSY String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10

    Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.
    Weill Recital Hall
    BRENTANO STRING QUARTET

    •• Mark Steinberg, Violin
    •• Serena Canin, Violin
    •• Misha Amory, Viola
    •• Nina Lee, Cello

    FRAGMENTS: CONNECTING PAST AND PRESENT PART II

    JOSEPH HAYDN String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 103
    JOHN HARBISON Finale, Presto (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
    DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet Fragment
    STEPHEN HARTKE From the Fifth Book (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
    WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART String Quartet Fragment in E Minor, K. 417d
    VIJAY IYER Mozart Effects (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
    BÉLA BARTÓK String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7

    Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
    Weill Recital Hall
    BRENTANO STRING QUARTET

    •• Mark Steinberg, Violin
    •• Serena Canin, Violin
    •• Misha Amory, Viola
    •• Nina Lee, Cello

    FERRUCCIO BUSONI String Quartet No. 2
    LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130, with Große Fuge, Op. 133

    The Brentano String Quartet series is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the A.E. Charitable Foundation.

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
    Ticket Information
    Tickets, priced at $65, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For more information discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.
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