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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Chiaroscuro Quartet
Kristian Bezuidenhout, Fortepiano

Monday, March 4, 2019 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Chiaroscuro Quartet by Eva Vermandel, Kristian Bezuidenhout by Marco Borggreve
Experience music as the composers would have heard it when the preeminent period-performance string quartet joins the leading fortepianist of our day for a program that features an arrangement of a Mozart concerto and a Schubert masterpiece. The Chiaroscuro Quartet has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame based on the “radiant refinement of their sound and their suave sensitivity of phrasing” (BBC Music), while Kristian Bezuidenhout—“a musician who could probably conjure sweet music from a piece of dry toast” (The Times, London)—displays his trademark virtuosity and taste.

Part of: Chamber Sessions III

Performers

Chiaroscuro Quartet
·· Alina Ibragimova, Violin
·· Pablo Hernán Benedí, Violin
·· Emilie Hörnlund, Viola
·· Claire Thirion, Cello
Kristian Bezuidenhout, Fortepiano

Program

SCHUBERT String Quartet in D Minor, D. 810, "Death and the Maiden"

MOZART Piano Sonata in C Minor, K. 457

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414

Event Duration

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

Pre-Concert Talk

Pre-concert talk at 6:30 PM: Members of the Chiaroscuro Quartet and Kristian Bezuidenhout in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Senior Director and Artistic Adviser, Carnegie Hall.
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At a Glance

SCHUBERT  String Quartet in D Minor, D. 810, “Death and the Maiden”

Toward the end of his short life, Schubert became fixated on the idea of writing a “grand symphony” on the scale of Beethoven’s Ninth. Although that project never got off the drawing board, he hinted at its nature in the three great string quartets he produced between 1824 and 1826. Like its two companions, the D-Minor Quartet—which draws on thematic material from Schubert’s song “Death and the Maiden”—is characterized by majestic proportions and elaborate thematic development.

 

MOZART  Piano Sonata in C Minor, K. 457

Often paired with Mozart’s C-Minor Fantasia, K. 475, the Piano Sonata in C Minor is distinguished by its dark, agitated, and often tragic atmosphere. Like many other works dating from the last decade of the composer’s life, the sonata illustrates his determination to expand the range of piano technique and expression, even as he breathed new life into forms and genres associated with his 18th-century predecessors.

 

MOZART  Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414

The Piano Concerto in A Major is the first of 17 concertos that Mozart wrote after relocating to Vienna from his native Salzburg in 1781. The music’s surprisingly intimate and low-keyed character is enhanced in the alternate version for piano and string quartet. Mozart observed that K. 414 and its two companion concertos represented “a happy medium between what is too easy and too difficult; they are very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, natural without being vapid.”

Bios

Chiaroscuro Quartet

Alina Ibragimova, Violin | Pablo Hernán Benedí, Violin
Emilie Hörnlund, Viola | Claire Thirion, Cello

Formed in 2005, the Chiaroscuro Quartet comprises Russian ...

Alina Ibragimova, Violin | Pablo Hernán Benedí, Violin
Emilie Hörnlund, Viola | Claire Thirion, Cello

Formed in 2005, the Chiaroscuro Quartet comprises Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova, Spanish violinist Pablo Hernán Benedí, Swedish violist Emilie Hörnlund, and French cellist Claire Thirion. Dubbed “a trailblazer for the authentic performance of high Classical chamber music” by Gramophone, this international ensemble performs music of the Classical and early Romantic periods on gut strings and with historical bows. Its unique sound is highly acclaimed by audiences and critics all over Europe.

The growing discography of the Chiaroscuro Quartet includes recordings of music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Haydn. The quartet was a prizewinner of the German Förderpreis Deutschlandfunk in 2013 and received Germany’s most prestigious CD award, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, in 2015 for its recording of Mozart and Mendelssohn. Among the ensemble’s chamber music partners are renowned artists such as Kristian Bezuidenhout, Trevor Pinnock, Jonathan Cohen, Nicolas Baldeyrou, Chen Halevi, Malcolm Bilson, and Christophe Coin.

Recent engagements included the Chiaroscuro Quartet’s enthusiastically received debut concerts at the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Philharmonie Warsaw. In April 2016, the quartet embarked on its first tour to Japan, playing concerts in Tokyo and Hyogo. Other performances have taken the ensemble to the Edinburgh International Festival, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional de Música, Grafenegg Festival (Austria), Sage Gateshead, Louvre Auditorium, Théâtre du Jeu de Paume (Aix-en-Provence), Grand Théâtre de Dijon, and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon.

In the 2018–2019 season, the Chiaroscuro Quartet gives various concerts in the UK, including an appearance at Wigmore Hall with Annelien Van Wauwe; returns to Japan; and is featured at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival. With Kristian Bezuidenhout, the ensemble performs in Southampton, Bristol, Madrid, Vienna, Montreal, Vancouver, New York, and Washington, DC. Its latest recordings for BIS Records feature two of Haydn’s Op. 20 quartets, and Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” Quartet and String Quartet No. 9 in G Minor.

The members of the Chiaroscuro Quartet are grateful to Jumpstart Jr. Foundation for the kind loan of a violin by Andrea Amati from Cremona in 1570.

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Kristian Bezuidenhout

Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the harpsichord, fortepiano, and modern piano. Born in South Africa in 1979, he ...

Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the harpsichord, fortepiano, and modern piano. Born in South Africa in 1979, he began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music, and now lives in London. After initial training as a pianist with Rebecca Penneys, Mr. Bezuidenhout explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson, and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O’Dette. He first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize and audience prize in the fortepiano competition at the annual Musica Antiqua Festival in Bruges, Belgium.

Mr. Bezuidenhout is a regular guest with the world’s leading ensembles, including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. From the keyboard, he has guest directed The English Concert, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Collegium Vocale Gent, Juilliard415, and the orchestra of the Kammerakademie Potsdam. He has also performed with celebrated artists who include Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Rachel Podger, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, and Matthias Goerne.

Mr. Bezuidenhout’s award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart, which was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’Année, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and Caecilia Prize; Mozart violin sonatas with Petra Müllejans; Mendelssohn and Mozart piano concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester, the latter winning an ECHO Klassik award; Beethoven and Mozart lieder; and Schumann’s Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore. In 2013, he was nominated as Gramophone’s Artist of the Year.

In the 2018–2019 season, Mr. Bezuidenhout plays and directs programs with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Irish Baroque Orchestra, as well as the Freiburger Barockorchester (as an artistic director) and The English Concert (as principal guest director). As a soloist, he performs with The Cleveland Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, and Orchestre de Paris. Solo recitals and chamber music performances take him to Oxford, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, Vienna, Montreal, Vancouver, New York, and Washington, DC.  

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