Performance Thursday, November 15, 2012 | 7:30 PM

Apollon Musagète Quartet

Weill Recital Hall
Founded in Vienna in 2006 by four talented Polish musicians, the Apollon Musagete Quartet prides itself on its open-minded, collaborative style. At Carnegie Hall, it performs a program that includes Haydn’s jubilant “Emperor” Quartet and music by Janáček.

This concert is part of Salon Encores.


  • Apollon Musagète Quartet
    ·· Pawel Zalejski, Violin
    ·· Bartosz Zachlod, Violin
    ·· Piotr Szumiel, Viola
    ·· Piotr Skweres, Cello


  • HAYDN String Quartet in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3, "Emperor"
  • SZYMANOWSKI String Quartet No. 1, Op. 37
  • SUK Meditation on an Old Czech Hymn, "St. Wenceslas," Op. 35a
  • JANÁCEK String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata"


  • Apollon Musagète Quartet

    The Apollon Musagète Quartet has been part of the European musical landscape since 2008, when it won first prize and almost all the special prizes at the 57th ARD International Music Competition. The quartet made its debut at the Berlin Philharmonie in March 2010, and subsequently was nominated by Vienna's Konzerthaus and Musikverein for the Rising Stars program, which led to performances at European concert halls, including the Megaron in Athens, Philharmonie Cologne, Citè de la musique in Paris, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Stockholm Konserthuset, and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, as well as venues in Luxemburg, Vienna, and Barcelona. In the 2012-2013 season, the ensemble appears at such renowned venues and festivals as London's Wigmore Hall, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Munich's Herkulessaal, Paris's Louvre, Tonhalle Zurich, and Lucerne Festival.

    In 2010, the quartet founded the Apollon Musagète Festival, which is held in Goslar and features concerts by such renowned guests as members of the former Alban Berg Quartet. The quartet's chamber music partners have included mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager and clarinetist Martin Fröst. Its chamber music cycles have included Les grand interprètes in Geneva and a Beethoven cycle at the Berlin Philharmonie, plus performances at the Esterházy String Quartet Festival, La Folle Journée de Nantes, and Alte Oper Frankfurt.

    Collaborations with living composers have always played an important role for the Apollon Musagète Quartet. In addition to the standard string quartet repertoire, the ensemble has had a number of new works dedicated to it that often focus on the quartet's namesake and spiritual mentor, Apollo. The quartet also frequently incorporates its original compositions Multitude for String Quartet and A Multitude of Shades into its programs.

    The quartet's second CD-featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich-will be released on Oehms Classics this season. Its debut CD was awarded CD of the Month by Radio Stephansdom in Vienna and the Pasticcio Prize of the ORF. In addition, the quartet has worked intensively with singer Tori Amos and made a vital contribution to her new CD Night of Hunters, which was awarded the 2012 ECHO Klassik Award.


    More Info


Szymanowski's String Quartet No. 1 in C Major, Op. 37, I. Lento assai - Allegro moderato
Apollon Musagète Quartet
Oehms Classics

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  String Quartet in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3, "Emperor"

Dating from the mid-to-late 1790s, Haydn's six Op. 76 quartets were among his last contributions to the genre that he did so much to create. The luminous slow movement of the C-Major Quartet is based on the "Emperor's Hymn" that he composed in 1797 as a heartfelt act of fealty toward Francis II and the Austrian state.

KAROL SZYMANOWSKI  String Quartet No. 1, Op. 37

Lyricism and impressionism combine in this engagingly inventive work by Poland's foremost composer of the early 20th century. Szymanowski wrote the first of his two quartets in Russia near the end of World War I, shortly before the Bolshevik Revolution turned his world upside-down and made him a homeless wanderer for the rest of his life.

JOSEF SUK  Meditation on an Old Czech Hymn, "St. Wenceslas," Op. 35a

Like Haydn, Czech composer and violinist Josef Suk used a popular patriotic tune as the basis for a string quartet—in this case, a solemn medieval hymn that invokes the protection of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. Suk wrote his darkly lyrical meditation in 1914, as his countrymen were girding for war.

LEOS JANÁČEK  String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata"

Trapped in an unhappy marriage, like the heroine of Tolstoy's story The Kreutzer Sonata, Janáček sought release in an epistolary romance with a younger woman. His First Quartet, inspired by the Russian novella, offers no such consolation. A work of almost unremitting bleakness, it is among the Czech composer's most disturbing and deeply felt masterpieces.

Program Notes
This performance is part of Quartets Plus.

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