All posts by Patrick_McCarty

6. Quatuor Danel – April 20, 2020


MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Brahms: Quartet No. 2 in a minor, Op. 52, No. 2
  • Intermission
  • Tchaikovsky: Quartet No. 3 in E♭ minor, Op. 30

The Quatuor Danel was founded in 1991 and has been at the forefront of the international music scene ever since, with important concert performances worldwide and a row of groundbreaking CD recordings. The quartet is famous for their bold, concentrated interpretations of the string quartet cycles of Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Shostakovich, and Weinberg. Their lively and fresh vision on the traditional quartet repertoire has delivered them subsequent praise from public and press. The other part of their force lies in the collaboration with major contemporary composers such as Wolfgang Rihm, Helmut Lachenmann, Sofia Gubaidulina, Pascal Dusapin Jorg Widmann and Bruno Mantovani.

Russian composers have a special place in the Quatuor Danel’s repertoire. They have championed all string quartets by Shostakovich and recorded the complete cycle for Fuga Libera in 2005. This box-set was re-issued by Alpha and still counts as one of the benchmark interpretations of Shostakovich’ quartets. The Danel were the first quartet to record the other great string quartet cycle of the twentieth century: the 17 quartets by Mieczysław Weinberg. Their performance in Manchester and Utrecht was the first time ever live interpretation of the complete Weinberg cycle worldwide.

Quatuor Danel website

5. Parker Quartet – March 23, 2020

 

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Haydn: String Quartet in E♭, Op. 33 No. 2 (“Joke”)
  • Symanowski: Quartet No. 2 in e minor, Op. 56
  • Intermission
  • Beethoven: Quartet in a minor, Op. 132

Inspiring performances, luminous sound, and exceptional musicianship are the hallmarks of the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet. Renowned for its dynamic interpretations and polished, expansive colors, the group has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. The Quartet has appeared at the world’s most important venues since its founding in 2002.

The  Parker  Quartet has  distinguished  itself  with acclaimed  recordings  for  Nimbus,  Zig-Zag Territoires,  Innova  Records,  and  Naxos.  The  Quartet’s  most  recent  recording  featuring Mendelssohn’s Quartets Op. 44, Nos. 1 and 3, was widely lauded by the international press. The Quartet’s debut commercial recording of Bartók’s String Quartets Nos. 2 and 5 for Zig-Zag Territoires (July 2007) won praise from Gramophone: “The Parkers’ Bartók spins the illusion of spontaneous improvisation… they have absorbed the language; they have the confidence to play freely with the music and the instinct to bring it off.” Their Naxos recording of György Ligeti’s complete works for  string  quartet won the  2011 Grammy Award for  Best Chamber Music Performance (the last string quartet to win this category). In April 2016 Augusta Read Thomas’s world premiere recording of Helix Spirals for string quartet on “Of Being is a Bird” was released on Nimbus Records.

The Parker Quartet’s members hold graduate degrees in performance and chamber music from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, and the Quartet was part of the New England  Conservatory’s  prestigious  Professional  String  Quartet  Training  Program from 2006–2008. Some of their most influential mentors include the original members of the Cleveland Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, György Kurtág, Zakhar Bron, Robert Lipsett, Mark Steinberg, and Rainer Schmidt.

Parker Quartet website

4. Trio con Brio Copenhagen – February 24, 2020

“Glowing reports hold true. The Trio con Brio Copenhagen clearly occupies a lofty perch in today’s musical scene.” – Washington Post

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Beethoven: Op. 121a, Kakadu Variations
  • Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 2 in c minor, Op. 66
  • Intermission
  • Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in a minor, Op. 50

Acknowledged as one of the world’s finest piano trios in the world, the Trio con Brio Copenhagen are about to celebrate their twentieth anniversary. To mark the occasion, Orchid Classics will be releasing their multi-volume traversal of the complete Beethoven Piano Trios.

The Trio was born out of an idea of the coming together of ‘musical pairs’ – of the two Korean-born sisters, Soo-Kyung Hong (cello) and Soo-Jin Hong (violin), with Soo-Kyung and her husband, Danish pianist Jens Elvekjaer. They quickly gained a reputation for their fresh and contemporary approach to the core repertoire and won almost all of the majorcompetitions for piano trio. Today they are regularly heard at the world’s leading venues andconcert series, among them, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Pierre Boulez-Saal, the Concertgebouw and many more.

Leading composers have dedicated works to the Trio, including Per Nørgård, BentSørensen’s and Sven-David Sandström. And reviews are fulsome. “One of the greatest performances of chamber music I’ve ever encountered,” praised American Record Guide.Gramophone wrote, “Superb…Any group would be hard-pressed to imitate this blend of verveand poise…” Their Mendelssohn album was chosen by the UK’s Classic FM as the Best Chamber Music Disc of the year.

The Trio are artistic directors of the Copenhagen Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Festival on Lundsgaard Estate in Kerteminde and the Hellerup Chamber Music Society in Copenhagen. Soo-Jin plays an Andrea Guarneri violin, Soo-Kyung plays aGrancino cello, and Jens is Denmark’s first Steinway Artist. Both string players are endorsed by Jagar Strings and Thomastik-Infeld Vienna.

Trio con Brio Copenhagen website

3. Harlem Quartet – November 18, 2019

 

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Mozart: String Quartet in F, K. 590
  • Bolcom: Three Rags for String Quartet
  • Lopez-Gavilan: Cuarteto en Guaguanco
  • Intermission
  • Brahms: String Quartet in B♭, Op. 67

Harlem Quartet advances diversity in classical music while engaging new audiences with varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers. Their mission to share their passion with a wider audience has taken them around the world; from a 2009 performance at The White House for President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama, to a highly successful tour of South Africa in 2012, and numerous venues in between. The musically versatile ensemble has performed with such distinguished artists as Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavafian, Carter Brey, Fred Sherry, Misha Dichter, Jeremy Denk, and Paquito D’Rivera. The quartet also collaborated with jazz masters Chick Corea and Gary Burton on the album Hot House, a 2013 multi-Grammy Award winning release.

New York-based HARLEM QUARTET, currently serving a three-year residency at London’s Royal College of Music, has been praised for its “panache” by The New York Times and hailed in the Cincinnati Enquirer for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent.” It has also won plaudits from such veteran musicians as GRAMMY-winning woodwind virtuoso Ted Nash of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, who declared in a May 2018 Playbill article, “Harlem Quartet is one of the greatest string quartets I have ever heard. They can play anything.” Since its public debut at Carnegie Hall in 2006, the ensemble has thrilled audiences and students in 47 states as well as in the U.K., France, Belgium, Brazil, Panama, Canada, Venezuela, Japan, and South Africa.

Harlem Quartet website

2. Musica Pacifica – October 14, 2019

 

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Telemann: Concerto No. 1
  • Royer: La Marche des Scythes
  • Rameau: Chaconne from Dardanus
  • Quantz: Trio sonata in a minor
  • Intermission
  • Veracini: Sonata No. 1 in g minor, Op. 1
  • Pisendel: Sonata in e minor for violin & continuo
  • Telemann: Quartet in a minor

Musica Pacifica has, since its founding in 1990, become widely recognized as one of America’s premier baroque ensembles, lauded for both the dazzling virtuosity and the warm expressiveness of its performances.

The press describes them as “some of the finest baroque musicians in America” (American Record Guide) and “among the best in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell).

They have performed on some of the most prestigious concert series in the U.S. and abroad. Their appearance on the mainstage at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2015 was reviewed as “little short of sensational… astonishing… breath-taking throughout” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer).

Musica Pacifica website

1. Neave Piano Trio – September 16, 2019

MUSIC SELECTIONS

  • Haydn: Trio in D Major Hob. XV No. 16
  • Chaminade: Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 11
  • Intermission
  • Jennifer Higdon: Piano Trio (Pale Yellow only)
  • Piazzolla: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

Since forming in 2010, Neave Trio – violinist Anna Williams, cellist Mikhail Veselov, and pianist Eri Nakamura – has earned enormous praise for its engaging, cutting-­edge performances. WQXR explains, “‘Neave’ is actually a Gaelic name meaning ‘bright’ and ‘radiant’, both of which certainly apply to this trio’s music making.” The Boston Musical Intelligencer included Neave in its “Best of 2014” and “Best of 2016” roundups, writing, “it is inconceivable that they will not soon be among the busiest chamber ensembles going,” and “their unanimity, communication, variety of touch, and expressive sensibility rate first tier.”

Neave Trio strives to champion new works by living composers and reach wider audiences through innovative concert presentations, regularly collaborating with artists of all mediums. These collaborations include performances with the Blythe Barton Dance Company; projection artist Ryan Brady; the interactive concert series “STEIN2.0,” with composer Amanuel Zarzowski; Klee Musings by acclaimed American composer Augusta Read Thomas, which was premiered by Neave; the upcoming premiere of Eric Nathan’s Missing Words V, sponsored by Coretet; and an upcoming short film based on the tango music of Astor Piazzolla.

Neave Piano Trio website