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Takács Quartet

Saturday, October 14, 2017 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Takács Quartet by Keith Saunders
A deeply felt emotional expressivity binds these works from the Classical, Romantic, and 20th-century worlds. In Haydn’s quartet, the second-movement Largo is the work’s poetic soul—a profoundly beautiful meditation. Brahms, too, looks inward in his String Sextet in G Major with a five-note theme whose pitches spell the name of a lost love in an outpouring of uncommon beauty and wistful nostalgia, while Shostakovich mourns a lost friend with gripping music of uncompromising power and somber beauty in his String Quartet No. 11.


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

Erika Eckert, Viola
David Requiro, Cello


HAYDN String Quartet in D Major, Op. 76, No. 5
SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet No. 11
BRAHMS String Sextet in G Major, Op. 36

Event Duration

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

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  String Quartet in D Major, Op. 76, No. 5

Haydn was at the peak of his powers when he wrote his Op. 76 quartets in the mid-1790s. Yet these six masterpieces, which are more or less contemporary with his oratorio The Creation, would be among Haydn’s last contributions to the genre that he did so much to create. The D-Major Quartet is notable for its youthful exuberance, motivic unity, and harmonic adventurousness.

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH  String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 122

Perhaps more than any composer since Beethoven, Shostakovich employed the string quartet as a vehicle for his deepest ruminations on the human condition. The 11th of his 15 quartets dates from 1966, a period in which the beleaguered composer—whose music had long been suppressed by Soviet authorities—finally achieved the recognition he deserved, both at home and abroad. Characteristically, the seven interconnected movements of the F-Minor Quartet veer between morbid brooding and frenetic activity.

JOHANNES BRAHMS  String Sextet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 36

The 1860s saw Brahms devote significant creative energy to chamber music—including the second of his two string sextets. Focusing on chamber-music composition allowed him to grapple with problems of structure and ensemble that would inevitably arise in his symphonies and other large-scale works. In contrast to the rigorous discipline of the string quartet—with its lineage stretching back to Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn—the fuller sonorities of the string sextet encouraged a more Romantic mode of expression.


Takács Quartet

Edward Dusinberre, Violin
Károly Schranz, Violin
Geraldine Walther, Viola
András Fejér, Cello

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.

David Requiro

David Requiro has emerged as one of today's finest American cellists. He has appeared as a soloist with prestigious orchestras, including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony. His Carnegie Hall debut recital was followed by a critically acclaimed San Francisco Performances recital at the Herbst Theatre. Soon after making his Kennedy Center debut, Mr. Requiro completed the cycle of Beethoven's sonatas for piano and cello at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.

Active in the contemporary music scene, Mr. Requiro has collaborated with many composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki and Bright Sheng. In 2010, he gave the Dutch premiere of Pierre Jalbert's Sonata for Cello and Piano at the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam. Mr. Requiro is also an avid chamber musician; a founding member of the Baumer String Quartet, he has performed with the Seattle Chamber Music Society and Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center recently appointed Mr. Requiro to its prestigious CMS Two residency, beginning in 2018.

A first-prize winner of the 2008 Naumburg International Cello Competition, and the Washington and Irving M. Klein international string competitions, Mr. Requiro has also earned a top prize at the Gaspar Cassadó International Violoncello Competition in Japan, coupled with the prize for best performance of works by Cassadó.

In 2015, Mr. Requiro joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Boulder as assistant professor of cello. He previously served as artist-in-residence at the University of Puget Sound and guest lecturer at the University of Michigan. His artist faculty appointments include the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Giverny Chamber Music Festival, Innsbrook Institute Summer Music Academy and Festival, Maui Classical Music Festival, and Olympic Music Festival.

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