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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Hagen Quartet
Jörg Widmann, Clarinet

Friday, March 22, 2019 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Hagen Quartet by Harald Hoffmann and Jörg Widmann by Marco Borggreve
The Guardian has praised composer-clarinetist Jörg Widmann for having “much to say about the way we hear the music of the past.” This fascinating composer and world-class clarinetist does just that when he joins the Hagen Quartet as soloist in Mozart’s autumnal and ever beautiful Clarinet Quintet, and gives the US premiere of his own quintet, a work co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall. The Hagen Quartet, called the “ideal string quartet” by the Los Angeles Times, also performs selections from Dvořák’s Cypresses, tenderhearted works based on his youthful love songs.

Part of: Chamber Sessions I and Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR

Performers

Hagen Quartet
·· Lukas Hagen, Violin
·· Rainer Schmidt, Violin
·· Veronika Hagen, Viola
·· Clemens Hagen, Cello
Jörg Widmann, Clarinet

Program

DVOŘÁK Selections from Echo of Songs (after Cypresses)
·· "I know that on my love"
·· "Death reigns"
·· "Here gaze I"
·· "Nature lies peaceful"

JÖRG WIDMANN Clarinet Quintet (US Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

MOZART Clarinet Quintet

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: Jörg Widmann and Hagen Quartet violinist Rainer Schmidt in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Senior Director and Artistic Adviser, Carnegie Hall.

Support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.

Public support for Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

At a Glance

DVOŘÁK  Selections from Echo of Songs (after Cypresses)

Dvořák was just beginning to make a name for himself in 1865 when he fell head over heels in love with a young actress in Prague. He poured out his heart to her in a cycle of 18 impassioned songs titled Cypresses, from which he later chose a dozen to arrange for string quartet under the title Echo of Songs—by which time, ironically, he was married not to the actress but to her younger sister.

 

JÖRG WIDMANN  Clarinet Quintet

Many composers have been drawn to the euphonious combination of clarinet and string quartet. Just as Brahms echoed Mozart’s masterful K. 581 in the tenderly yearning slow movement of his own Clarinet Quintet, so too does Jörg Widmann pay homage to the Viennese master in his recent contribution to the genre. The German clarinetist-composer is known for his ability to evoke the past in a contemporary idiom; he once said that “the most important thing in my artistic career has been to combine tradition and innovation.”

 

MOZART  Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581

The luminous, broadly lyrical slow movement is the heart and soul of Mozart’s masterpiece. Like his Clarinet Concerto and Clarinet Trio, the A-Major Quintet was inspired by the extraordinary artistry of Austrian clarinetist Anton Stadler. Mozart’s love affair with the clarinet had been sparked by hearing the celebrated Mannheim court orchestra play, which convinced him that the Salzburg orchestra needed to upgrade its woodwind section. “Ah, if only we had clarinets too!” he wrote to his father.

Bios

Hagen Quartet

The Hagen Quartet’s unprecedented three-decade-plus career began in 1981. Its early years—marked by a series of prizes in chamber music competitions and an exclusive recording ...

The Hagen Quartet’s unprecedented three-decade-plus career began in 1981. Its early years—marked by a series of prizes in chamber music competitions and an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon that would produce around 45 albums over the next 20 years—enabled the group to work its way through the vast repertoire for string quartet and develop its distinctive profile. Collaborations with artistic personalities such as György Kurtág and the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt are as important to the Hagen Quartet as its concert appearances with performers such as Maurizio Pollini, Mitsuko Uchida, Sabine Meyer, Krystian Zimerman, Heinrich Schiff, and Jörg Widmann.

In the 2018–2019 season, the Hagen Quartet’s performance schedule takes the musicians to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, and venues in Brussels, Hamburg, Cologne, and Berlin, to name a few. The quartet is again a guest at the Salzburg Festival and the Schubertiade Hohenems. A tour in Asia includes concerts in Tokyo and Fukushima, as well as performances in China, Macau, and Taiwan. The quartet travels to the United States for concerts in New York, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia.

The Hagen Quartet’s recording of Mozart’s K. 387 and K. 458 string quartets was awarded the Diapason d’Or and the Choc de Classica (France), as well as the coveted German ECHO Klassik award for Best Chamber Music Recording of 17th-/18th-Century Music (2016). In 2011, the quartet won its first ECHO Klassik award (Ensemble of the Year); in 2012, it was named an honorary member of the Vienna Konzerthaus.

The Hagen Quartet’s concert repertoire and discography feature programs that embrace the entire history of the string quartet genre, from its pre-Haydn beginnings all the way to Kurtág. The Hagen Quartet also works closely with composers of its own generation, not only reviving existing works, but commissioning and premiering new pieces.

The Hagen Quartet performs on old Italian master instruments.

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Jörg Widmann

Clarinetist, composer, and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. The 2018–2019 season sees him appear as a soloist with ...

Clarinetist, composer, and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. The 2018–2019 season sees him appear as a soloist with such orchestras as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Susanna Mälkki, Taiwan’s National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Shao-Chia Lü, and NDR Radiophilharmonie conducted by Andrew Manze.

Mr. Widmann is artist in residence at Taiwan’s National Symphony Orchestra, appearing as clarinetist (in a performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto), conductor, composer, and lecturer. He is also in residence at the Orchestre de Paris, where his works feature in various concerts.

Chamber music performances in the 2018–2019 season include trio concerts with Tabea Zimmermann and Dénes Várjon, as well as quintet concerts with the Hagen Quartet. He gives chamber performances in the US in Baltimore and New York, and in Europe in Budapest, Freiburg, Hamburg, and Munich. In February, he gave the premiere of Peter Eötvös’s Joyce, a work written for him and commissioned by the Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical.

Continuing his intense activities as a conductor, Mr. Widmann performs this season with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Boulez Ensemble, and Kammerakademie Potsdam, and tours Germany with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. As the principal conductor, he leads the Irish Chamber Orchestra in concerts in Ireland, and embarks on a tour to South America with concerts in Buenos Aires, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro.

In August 2018, Mr. Widmann conducted the premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 2, performed by Carolin Widmann with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. This season sees performances of this piece with the Orchestre de Paris, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr. Widmann performs regularly with renowned orchestras, such as Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, and Christoph von Dohnányi.

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