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Hagen Quartet
Jörg Widmann, Clarinet

Friday, March 22, 2019 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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: Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR


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


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.

National Endowment for the Arts: arts.gov

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.

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