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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Takács Quartet

Thursday, October 12, 2017 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Takács Quartet by Ellen Appel
H. C. Robbins Landon, the famed Haydn scholar, called the composer’s “Fifths” String Quartet “one of the most serious, learned, and intellectually formidable works he ever wrote.” It is certainly erudite with an opening movement that’s a marvel of austere beauty and compelling turbulence, but there is also cutting wit and a finale that nods to the Hungarian Gypsy traditional. If Haydn’s quartet appeals to the mind, Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2 moves the heart with a rhapsodic opening movement and a wrenching, sorrow-drenched lament.

Part of: Chamber Sessions II

Performers

Takács Quartet
·· Edward Dusinberre, Violin
·· Károly Schranz, Violin
·· Geraldine Walther, Viola
·· András Fejér, Cello
Erika Eckert, Viola

Program

HAYDN String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 76, No. 2, "Fifths"
CARL VINE String Quartet No. 6, "Child's Play" (US Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
MENDELSSOHN String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 87

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

Pre-Concert Talk

Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with Edward Dusinberre, first violinist of the Takács Quartet, in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 76, No. 2, “Fifths”

Haydn was at the peak of his compositional powers when he wrote the six Op. 76 quartets in the mid-1790s. Like his late masterpiece The Creation, the Op. 76 quartets are notably adventurous in their thematic material, harmony, texture, and timbre. The D-Minor Quartet takes its nickname, and much of its outgoing character, from the boldly striding open fifths played by the first violin at the beginning of the work.


CARL VINE  String Quartet No. 6, “Child’s Play”

The latest string quartet by Australian composer Carl Vine echoes the playful exuberance that characterizes much of Haydn’s music. Each of the work’s five movements evokes a different activity associated with childhood, a stage of life that Vine sees as imbued with “a sense of fun and limitless potential.”


FELIX MENDELSSOHN  String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 87

The second of Mendelssohn’s two string quintets dates from 1845, two years before the composer’s untimely death. Posthumously published in 1851, the Quintet in B-flat Major blends youthful exuberance and mature passion. Only the comparatively short-winded finale—which Mendelssohn intended to revise but never did—leaves the listener hungry for more.

Bios

Takács Quartet
The Takács Quartet, now entering its 43rd season, is renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, it plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth, and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. The quartet is based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, where it has been ensemble-in-residence for 32 years.

During the 2017–2018 season, the Takács Quartet performs at Tanglewood with pianist Garrick Ohlsson, appears at the Aspen Music Festival, and tours with pianist Marc-André Hamelin. In addition to its annual series at London’s Wigmore Hall, where the members of the quartet are associate artists, other European engagements include performances in Copenhagen, Vienna, Luxembourg, and Rotterdam, and at the Rheingau and Edinburgh festivals. The quartet also returns to New Zealand and Australia.

The Takács Quartet has an extensive recording repertoire with the Hyperion label; its latest release features Dvořák’s String Quintet, Op. 97 (with violist Lawrence Power), and String Quartet, Op. 105. Future releases include the Dohnányi piano quintets with Marc-André Hamelin, and piano quintets by Elgar and Beach with Garrick Ohlsson. For its records with the Decca label, the quartet has won a Grammy Award, three Gramophone Awards, and three Japanese Record Academy Awards, among other notable prizes.

Known for its innovative programming, the quartet pursues diverse projects that have included regular collaborations with the Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikás, a 14-city US tour of a music and poetry program with poet Robert Pinsky, and a 2010 collaboration with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and writer David Lawrence Morse on a drama project that explored the composition of Beethoven’s last quartets. In recent years, the quartet has given performances of Philip Roth’s Everyman program, appearing with Meryl Streep at Princeton University in 2014 and at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto the following year. The quartet first performed Everyman at Carnegie Hall in 2007 with Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest by Gábor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gábor Ormai, and András Fejér, while all four were students. Violinist Edward Dusinberre joined the quartet in 1993; violist Geraldine Walther joined in 2005.
Erika Eckert
Erika Eckert is associate professor of viola at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1994. She has also been a member of the Brevard Music Center’s summer faculty since 2011. Previously, Ms. Eckert served on the faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, and Chautauqua Institution in New York.

Ms. Eckert has performed throughout the United States as a member of the Eckert-McDonald Duo (with pianist Margaret McDonald). As colleagues at the University of Colorado, the two have had the opportunity to present numerous Colorado premieres, including works by Luis Jorge González, Richard Toensing, Carter Pann, Daniel Kellogg, Chen Yi, and Peter Seabourne.

As co-founder and former violist of the Cavani String Quartet, Ms. Eckert performed in major concert series worldwide and garnered an impressive array of awards, including first prize at the Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Competition and the Cleveland Quartet Award. Ms. Eckert has also appeared as a soloist at the Music in the Mountains and Boulder Bach festivals, and with the Four Seasons Chamber Orchestra, University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and Boulder Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Eckert sustains a rich career in music education alongside her performance schedule. She has coordinated the chamber music program at the American String Teachers Association international workshops in Australia and Norway, and presented viola master classes at The Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, and Interlochen Arts Academy. Ms. Eckert served for three years as an adjudicator for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts’ (NFAA) Arts Recognition and Talent Search—the exclusive nominating agency for Presidential Scholars in the Arts—and appeared in the Academy Award–nominated documentary about the program, Rehearsing a Dream.

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