intensity, and innovation are the hallmarks of Mozart, Brahms, Puccini, and
Grieg—just some of the composers showcased in this series. Presented in the
intimate Weill Recital Hall, works by these composers and others are performed
by the finest string quartets.
Due to an injury, violist Mai Motobuchi must regretfully withdraw from this performance. Dov Scheindlin will perform in her place.
The Borromeo String Quartet “performed at a high standard that brought you so deeply into the music’s inner workings that you wondered if your brain could take it all in” (The Philadelphia Inquirer). The foursome returns to Carnegie Hall for a program of impassioned quartets from the Romantic period by Mendelssohn and Schumann; the New York premiere of arranged selections from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I; and a new work by Sebastian Currier co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall.
Borromeo String Quartet ·· Nicholas Kitchen, Violin ·· Kristopher Tong, Violin ·· Mai Motobuchi, Viola ·· Yeesun Kim, Cello Dov Scheindlin, Viola
BACH Selections from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (NY Premiere, arr. Nicholas Kitchen)
MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13
SEBASTIAN CURRIER Etude 6, "Velocities" from Etudes and Lullabies (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
SEBASTIAN CURRIER Lullaby 2, "Dreaming" from Etudes and Lullabies (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
Quartets by two composers not primarily known for chamber music bookend a restless work by Brahms. Puccini composed his emotionally intense Crisantemi as an elegy for a nobleman and used it later in his opera Manon Lescaut. The challenging first violin part of Saint-Saëns’s String Quartet in E Minor was written for virtuoso violinist Eugène Ysaÿe, but it is also memorable for its eloquent slow movement and scherzo with lively variations on a Breton folk song. The edgy quality of Brahms’s String Quartet No. 1 is balanced by sublime lyricism and dramatic fire in its finale.
The quiet solemnity and stately tread of Sibelius’s Andante festivo lifts it above the event for which it was composed: the anniversary of a Finnish factory. The unorthodox harmonies in the opening bars of Mozart’s String Quartet in C Major confounded his contemporaries and inspired its “Dissonance” nickname. That aside, its brilliant construction, lyricism, and joy make it one of the composer’s finest works. Powerful, lush, melodious, reliant on forward-looking harmonies, and crafted with linked thematic elements, Grieg’s String Quartet in G Minor anticipates the music of the future.
Apollon Musagète Quartet ·· Paweł Zalejski, Violin ·· Bartosz Zachłod, Violin ·· Piotr Szumiel, Viola ·· Piotr Skweres, Cello
SIBELIUS Andante festivo
MOZART String Quartet in C Major, K. 465, "Dissonance"
Due to a medical condition that involves his arm, violist Martin Saving must regretfully withdraw from this performance and the rest of the Elias String Quartet's North American tour. Simone van der Giessen will perform in his place.
Tensions, passions, and daring tonal explorations are at the center of this program. Schubert’s brief but powerful Quartettsatz opens in an agitated state; despite its lyrical second theme, it never quite releases its tension. The platonic love for a younger, married woman inspired a flurry of compositional activity in the last years of Janáček’s life. His “Intimate Letters” Quartet is a passionate paean to his love. Beethoven’s String Quartet in E-flat Major—also composed near the end of his life—ventures into new harmonic territories and boasts a set of brilliant second-movement variations on a noble theme.
Elias String Quartet ·· Sara Bitlloch, Violin ·· Donald Grant, Violin ·· Martin Saving, Viola ·· Marie Bitlloch, Cello