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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Apollon Musagète Quartet

Friday, February 16, 2018 7:30 PM Weill Recital Hall
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Apollon Musagète Quartet by Marco Borggreve
The quiet solemnity and stately tread of Sibelius’s Andante festivo lifts it above the event for which it was composed: the anniversary of a Finnish factory. The unorthodox harmonies in the opening bars of Mozart’s String Quartet in C Major confounded his contemporaries and inspired its “Dissonance” nickname. That aside, its brilliant construction, lyricism, and joy make it one of the composer’s finest works. Powerful, lush, melodious, reliant on forward-looking harmonies, and crafted with linked thematic elements, Grieg’s String Quartet in G Minor anticipates the music of the future.

Performers

Apollon Musagète Quartet
·· Paweł Zalejski, Violin
·· Bartosz Zachłod, Violin
·· Piotr Szumiel, Viola
·· Piotr Skweres, Cello

Program

SIBELIUS Andante festivo
MOZART String Quartet in C Major, K. 465, "Dissonance"
GRIEG String Quartet in G Minor

Encore:
FRESEDO Vida mía

Event Duration

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

Salon Encores

Get together with people who love music after this Weill Recital Hall concert for a free drink and discussion with the evening's musicians.
Learn More

At a Glance

JEAN SIBELIUS  Andante festivo

Best known for his symphonic works, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius also wrote compelling music in more intimate genres. He considered his D-Minor String Quartet of 1908–1909 a milestone in his career; with it, he declared, “I have left the training ship and gained my master’s certificate. Now I shall set course for the open sea.” In 1922, he returned to the quartet idiom in this brief but powerfully expressive tone poem, later arranged for string orchestra and timpani.


WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  String Quartet in C Major, K. 465, “Dissonance”

One of Mozart’s most extraordinary chamber works, K. 465 takes its name—and much of its intermittently gloomy character—from the stinging dissonances that spice the short introduction to the first movement. Although Haydn would later use dissonant harmonies to striking effect in his oratorio The Creation, he, like many of his contemporaries, found Mozart’s tonal unorthodoxy difficult to swallow.

EDVARD GRIEG  String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 27

With its inspired melodies and luxuriant sonorities, Grieg’s String Quartet in G Minor draws on the rich vein of lyricism that he mined in works such as the A-Minor Piano Concerto and the incidental music for Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. At the same time, the quartet’s advanced harmonies and organic structure—the four movements are linked by common thematic material—look ahead to the music of Debussy, Bartók, and other modernists.

Bios

Apollon Musagète Quartet

Winner of first prize and several other awards at the ARD International Music Competition in 2008, the Apollon Musagète Quartet has rapidly become an established feature of the European music scene.

The quartet was nominated for the ECHO Rising Stars series in 2010, and gave highly successful performances at prestigious European venues that season. It was named a BBC New Generation Artist in 2012, which led to extensive touring in the UK and a number of recordings for the BBC. More recently, the quartet was named recipient of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2014.

Highlights of the quartet’s 2017–2018 season include returns to Wigmore Hall in London, the Schubertiade Festival in Hohenems, and Music Toronto, as well as appearances in Budapest and Warsaw. In February 2018, the quartet embarks on a substantial US debut tour, performing in Boston, New York, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco.

The Apollon Musagète Quartet collaborates with such renowned artists as Martin Fröst, Per Arne Glorvigen, Angelika Kirchschlager, Gabriela Montero, and Jörg Widmann, and has appeared at festivals that include the Leipzig Bach Festival, Budapest Spring Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and Warsaw’s International Music Festival. It has also appeared in several symphonic series with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra Vorarlberg.

The quartet’s debut CD was released in 2010 on Oehms Classics to great critical acclaim and numerous awards. The ensemble has also received glowing reviews for its recordings of works by Lutosławski, Penderecki, and Górecki for Decca Classics. Recently, the quartet released Russian Soul (2014) on Oehms Classics, presenting
works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich.

Paweł Zalejski plays a 1615 violin by the Brothers Amati, and Piotr Skweres plays a 1741 cello by Gennaro Gagliano; these instruments have kindly been provided by the MERITO String Instruments Trust. The quartet also thanks Thomastik-Infeld for its generous support, and Stoffwerk for its exclusive and custom-made concert clothes.

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