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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

St. Lawrence String Quartet
Inon Barnatan, Piano

Thursday, November 8, 2018 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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St. Lawrence String Quartet and Inon Barnatan by Marco Borggreve
Haydn’s quartet is an edgy exploration of asymmetrical phrases, dissonant flashes, and abrupt dynamic shifts, while Beethoven’s final quartet has abundant good humor—particularly a slapstick episode in the Scherzo where the first violin takes flight as other players repeat a churning, comic figure 48 times. Shostakovich’s quintet is also open-hearted with powerful expression and technical brilliance going hand-in-hand. Its piano part is stunning, particularly the giddy whirlwind Scherzo that will showcase the mastery of Inon Barnatan, “one of the most admired pianists of his generation” (The New York Times).

Part of: Chamber Sessions III


St. Lawrence String Quartet
·· Geoff Nuttall, Violin
·· Owen Dalby, Violin
·· Lesley Robertson, Viola
·· Christopher Costanza, Cello
Inon Barnatan, Piano


HAYDN String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 20, No. 3
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135
SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the A.E. Charitable Foundation.

At a Glance

HAYDN  String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 20, No. 3

Haydn’s six Op. 20 string quartets dazzled audiences in the 1770s with their prodigal display of formal and melodic invention. By making the four players more or less equal partners, Haydn distanced himself from the top-heavy part writing that characterized the instrumental chamber music of the Rococo period. Although it is designated a divertimento a quattro on the manuscript, the Quartet No. 3 marks a sharp departure from the old-style string ensembles.


BEETHOVEN  String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135

Beethoven’s 16 string quartets are the Mount Everest of the genre, the pinnacle which other composers have long aspired to scale. All five of his late-period quartets were composed between the summer of 1824 and the autumn of 1826. In contrast to the three knotty quartets (opp. 127, 130, and 132) written for Prince Nikolai Golitsyn, Beethoven’s Russian patron, the F-Major Quartet is a lucid, lighthearted work in a traditional four-movement format.


SHOSTAKOVICH  Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57

In the summer of 1940, the Soviet Union was enjoying a brief respite from war, thanks to its short-lived pact with Nazi Germany. Although resolutely apolitical, Shostakovich couldn’t insulate himself from the paranoia and anxiety that affected every echelon of Soviet society in the wake of Stalin’s Great Terror. Like much of his music, the Piano Quintet veers from one stylistic and emotional extreme to another. In harmonizing these diverse and often discordant elements, the Russian composer created a highly personal musical language of extraordinary power and beauty. 

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