series is a journey through chamber music that spans the centuries and explores
myriad styles. There’s Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and much more in
concerts performed by masters of intimate music making.
“Their interpretations were like a series of marvelously expressive close-ups: every note and phrase pinned to an exact emotion,” wrote The Boston Globe of cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan. The duo performs Mendelssohn’s impassioned Cello Sonata No. 2 and a new work by Steven Mackey co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall. The two also explore a Russian connection with Britten’s mercurial work, written for cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata, a piece that journeys from anguish to jubilation.
Alisa Weilerstein, Cello Inon Barnatan, Piano
MENDELSSOHN Cello Sonata No. 2 in D Major
BRITTEN Cello Sonata
STEVEN MACKEY Through Your Fingers (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
Three Viennese composers put their personal stamp on the string quartet. Mozart’s is one of six he dedicated to Haydn, paying homage to the master while also looking ahead to the dramatic and harmonically daring quartets of Schubert. Schubert’s grandly scaled string quartet is a work of profound depth and a vast range of emotions. If much of the power of Schubert’s quartet is found in its great breadth, Berg’s compels with late-Romantic luxury.
Tetzlaff Quartet ·· Christian Tetzlaff, Violin ·· Elisabeth Kufferath, Violin ·· Hanna Weinmeister, Viola ·· Tanja Tetzlaff, Cello
Different cultures and locales are remarkably vivid in these pulsing musical gems. Despite the initial request coming from Benny Goodman, Bartok’s Contrasts owes less to jazz and more to the pungent folk music of Eastern Europe—perhaps the influence of its co-commissioner, Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti. Szymanowski’s virtuoso Mythes draw inspiration from Mediterranean cultures and French impressionist music, while Messiaen expresses his deep faith in a work of timeless beauty composed under trying circumstances while a prisoner of war.
Janine Jansen, Violin Lucas Debargue, Piano Martin Fröst, Clarinet Torleif Thedéen, Cello
Beethoven’s quartet smiles, Schumann’s recalls past masters, and Bartók’s mourns. Beethoven’s string quartet is a genial work that’s especially witty in its quicksilver finale. Schumann revered Bach and Beethoven, evidenced in his String Quartet No. 1, with its involved counterpoint and gravitas juxtaposed with its quicksilver, daredevil finale. There is little peace in Bartók’s String Quartet No. 2, a stark work that reflects the composer’s inner turmoil in response to the horrors of World War I.