Haydn’s wit, Tchaikovsky’s nostalgia, and Beethoven’s virtuosity are but a few highlights of the works on this series. The world’s leading quartets perform masterpieces by your favorite composers in the elegance and warmth of Weill Recital Hall.
The Herald called the Michelangelo Quartet “one of the great string quartets of the era” and lauded the members' playing that’s “out of this world.” They perform a Haydn quartet that delights with its opening movement imitation of birdsong and concludes with a display of quicksilver virtuosity. After a dirge-like opening, Bartók’s quartet quickens in pace until it too culminates in a breathless finale. Smetana’s masterpiece is far more introverted, a poignant work that reflects on his life’s work, hopes, and tragedy.
Michelangelo Quartet ·· Mihaela Martin, Violin ·· Daniel Austrich, Violin ·· Nobuko Imai, Viola ·· Frans Helmerson, Cello
HAYDN String Quartet in D Major, Op. 64, No. 5, "Lark"
SMETANA String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, "From My Life"
Two chamber music cornerstones frame Britten’s innovative first quartet. Britten’s manipulation of texture and color stand out in his quartet, as do passages hinting at the sound world of his opera Peter Grimes. Mozart’s quartet opens with unorthodox harmonies that inspired its nickname, but its magnificent architecture and melodic splendor make it a masterpiece. The third “Razumovsky” quartet, commissioned by the Russian ambassador to Austria, mesmerizes with its mysterious opening and uplifts its concluding heroic double fugue.
Heath Quartet ·· Oliver Heath, Violin ·· Cerys Jones, Violin ·· Gary Pomeroy, Viola ·· Christopher Murray, Cello
MOZART String Quartet in C Major, K. 465, "Dissonance"
BRITTEN String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, "Razumovsky"
Hear Haydn perfect the classical string quartet, Brahms pay tribute to Bach, and Bartók surprise and delight. If Haydn was the father of the string quartet, his “Sunrise”—nicknamed for the first violin’s rising theme over a sustained chord—is one of his finest offspring. Brahms's expansive quartet is noteworthy for its crafty use of canons (a favorite Bach device), dash of Hungarian folk accents, and warm melodies. Bartók also makes use of folk music in his quartet’s Scherzo—this time Bulgarian—in a daredevil work of engrossing bravura.
Few string quartets can boast “a sound so distinctive as to be easily identified within mere minutes” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), but the Dover Quartet has achieved that and more, prompting The New Yorker to call it “the young American string quartet of the moment.” The Dover Quartet returns to Carnegie Hall for a program that features the moving Romanticism of Tchaikovsky, Dvořák’s sunshine-drenched melodies in celebration of his return to his Czech homeland, and an edgy and energetic Bartók quartet.
Dover Quartet ·· Joel Link, Violin ·· Bryan Lee, Violin ·· Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, Viola ·· Camden Shaw, Cello
TCHAIKOVSKY String Quartet No. 3
BARTÓK String Quartet No. 3
DVOŘÁK String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat Major, Op. 105