·· Vineta Sareika, Violin
·· Anthea Kreston, Violin
·· Gregor Sigl, Viola
·· Eckart Runge, Cello
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3
BARTÓK String Quartet No. 2
SCHUMANN String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 41, No. 1
BACH "Des heil'gen Geistes reiche Gnad'," BWV 295
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the AE Charitable Foundation.
At a Glance
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN String Quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3
In his six Op. 18 quartets, written between 1798 and 1800, Beethoven staked his claim to the title of Haydn’s and Mozart’s successor in the rarefied realm of the string quartet. The D-Major Quartet came first in order of composition and set a high bar for his initial foray into the genre. After the set was complete, the young composer told his friend Carl Amenda, “Only now do I know how to write quartets properly.”
BÉLA BARTÓK String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17
Like Beethoven, Bartók used the string quartet as a vehicle for expressing his deepest musical thoughts. The six quartets he composed at intervals between 1908 and 1939 are a microcosm of the Hungarian composer’s richly imaginative and highly distinctive sound world. The three movements of the Second Quartet form a kind of triptych whose center panel is an energetic Allegro characterized by constantly shifting dancelike meters.
ROBERT SCHUMANN String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 41, No. 1
Schumann—not unlike Beethoven—took pride in being a loner. “I feel that my path is fairly solitary,” he once wrote. “No acclaiming crowd inspires me to fresh effort, but I keep my eyes fixed on my great examples, Bach and Beethoven, whose far-off images give unfailing help and encouragement.” The influence of both composers can be heard in Schumann’s A-Minor Quartet, which tempers muscular Romanticism with Classical restraint.
The Berlin-based Artemis Quartet was founded in 1989 at the Lübeck University of Music, and is counted among the foremost quartet formations worldwide. Important mentors have included Walter Levin and Alfred Brendel, as well as members of the Alban Berg Quartett, Juilliard String Quartet, and Emerson String Quartet.
Collaboration with musical colleagues has been a major source of inspiration for the ensemble. The Artemis Quartet has toured with notable musicians such as Sabine Meyer, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Juliane Banse, and Jörg Widmann. Various recordings document the quartet’s artistic collaborations, including Schumann’s and Brahms’s piano quintets with Leif Ove Andsnes, Schubert’s String Quintet with Truls Mørk, and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht with Thomas Kakuska and Valentin Erben of the Alban Berg Quartett.
The Artemis Quartet records exclusively for Erato Records (formerly Virgin). Its recordings have been repeatedly honored with the German Record Critics’ Award, Gramophone Award, and Diapason d’Or. In 2011, its recording of Beethoven’s string quartets earned the distinguished Grand Prix du Disque from France’s Académie Charles-Cros. The quartet has received four ECHO Klassik awards, the most recent in 2016 for its recording of Brahms’s String Quartet in C Minor, Op. 51, No. 1, and String Quartet No. 3 in B-flat Major, Op. 67, dedicated to the Artemis Quartet’s former violist Friedemann Weigle, who passed away in July 2015. The ensemble’s next recording, which features works by Shostakovich (including the Piano Quintet with Elisabeth Leonskaja), will be released in 2018.
Contemporary music forms a significant part of the Artemis Quartet’s artistic work. Composers such as Mauricio Sotelo, Jörg Widmann, and Thomas Larcher have written for the quartet. In 2014, the ensemble premiered Daniel Schnyder’s Impetus, a concerto for string quartet and orchestra. The musicians launched their own contest for musical composition in 2015; Eduard Demetz became the inaugural awardee in November 2015, and his String Quartet No. 2 was given a well-received premiere in Berlin in May 2016.
In addition to concertizing, the four members of the Artemis Quartet teach as professors at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Brussels.