BRENTANO STRING QUARTET
Repertory list for 2018-19 season
Master list: Standard works
Haydn: Quartet in C-Major, Op. 20 No. 2
Bartok: Quartet No. 2
Beethoven: Quartet in C-Minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Beethoven: Quartet in A-Minor, Op. 132
Boccherini: Quartet (TBD)
Mendelssohn: Quartet in Eb-Major, Op. 44, No. 3
Mozart: Quartet in F-Major, K 590
Shostakovich: Quartet No. 12 in Db-Major, Op. 133 (Fall, 2018 only)
Special offerings and collaborations:
“Lamentations” There exists an old tradition of professional lamenters, who, as a service to those who grieve, digest and transfigure that grief in giving it voice. What greater faith in art can be imagined? This program of lamentations celebrates that art of cathartic expression in songs of lamentation from Purcell and Gesualdo through Bartok and Carter, evincing strength and vulnerability in equal measure, through the intimacy and immediacy of the string quartet. (Mark Steinberg) Watch Mark's overview video
Purcell: Dido's Lament arr. quartet
Haydn: one of the Seven Last Words
Gesualdo: small group of Madrigals
Haydn: another of the Seven Last Words
Lekeu: Molto Adagio
Bartok: Quartet No.2
with soprano Dawn Upshaw:
Schoenberg String Quartet No. 2 and Respighi Il tramonto
with pianist Jonathan Biss - see narrative description
Dvorak Two Slavonic Dances (arr. for piano quintet by Misha Amory)
Janacek selections from On an Overgrown Path, solo piano
Dvorak Miniatures, Op. 75a, for two violins and viola
Smetana Aus der Heimat, for violin and piano
Dvorak Piano Quintet in A-Major, Op. 81
with violist Hsin-Yun Huang string quintets (including, if you wish, an all-quintets program) of Mozart (C-minor, K 406/516b), Brahms (F-Major, Op 88), and Mendelssohn (Bb-Major, Op. 87).
with Jonathan Biss - Program Description
Dvorak was born in a small Bohemian town and grew up playing the violin for local dances at his father’s inn. Even as he attained his artistic maturity he continued to write dances evoking his native soil, as well as music steeped in the rhythms of speech. He also returned again and again to inspiration from legends and folklore of his homeland, reveling in the intimate spirit of storytelling. Such qualities abound in the beloved Piano Quintet, Op. 81, and enliven it with resplendent color. This program features that work and prefaces it with a set of shorter works as musical epigraphs. Inside the grand palace of the quintet, these epigraphs steer us toward discovery of the ballroom for dancing as well as the clandestine nooks perfect for the telling of fairy tales.
We have Dvorak, himself, in two of his Slavonic Dances, conjuring his homeland through remembered rhythms of the body. We also include his Miniatures, the composer’s own version of his Four Romantic Pieces for violin and piano, here set as an intimate narrative for two violins and viola. There are, as well, Dvorak’s musical heir, Janacek, and his artistic father, Smetana. Selections from Janacek’s On an Overgrown Path for solo piano are his own miniatures, steeped in Moravian folk poetry and nostalgia for his youth. And the first half is rounded off by Smetana’s Z domoviny (“From my Homeland”), for violin and piano, redolent of Bohemian pride, singing and dancing with infectious warmth and joy.
This program represents the continuation of a long artistic collaboration between Jonathan Biss and the Brentano Quartet, who have relished making music together for many years now.