Evening concerts

Hagen Quartett + JÖrg Widmann

  • 20:15
  • 27.01.2018
  • Grote Zaal

Lukas Hagen violin
Rainer Schmidt violin
Veronika Hagen viola
Clemens Hagen cello

Jörg Widmann clarinet

Jörg Widmann Clarinet Quintet (Dutch première)*
Anton Webern Langsamer Satz for string quartet
Johannes Brahms Clarinet Quintet op. 115

*co-commission String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, CNDM Madrid, Wigmore Hall, Mozarteum Salzburg, Philharmonie Essen, Lugano Musica, Philharmonie de Paris

In the opening concert of the very first String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam two of chamber music’s household names share the stage: the Austrian Hagen Quartet and the German composer/clarinettist Jörg Widmann. Inspired by Mozart and Brahms, Widmann recently composed a new work for this instrumental combination, which is inseparably linked to the string quartet. The Hagen Quartet also performs one of the most poignant pieces of the string quartet repertoire: Webern’s Langsamer Satz.

More info about Hagen QuartettJörg Widmann

Read more

buy tickets

Jörg Widmann has previously composed five string quartets to high acclaim. So it comes as no surprise that this master clarinettist has now created a work that brings together his own instrument and the string quartet genre with which he has such a strong affinity. The Guardian: ‘Any Widmann performance brings whatever he plays kicking and screaming into the present day. Whether it’s his own pieces or the Brahms clarinet quintet.’

Hagen-Quartett
Jörg-Widmann-Klarinet

Brentano Quartet

  • 20:15
  • 28.01.2018
  • Grote Zaal

Spotify

Youtube

Mark Steinberg violin
Serena Canin violin
Misha Amory viola
Nina Lee cello

Joseph Haydn String Quartet no. 49, op. 64/2
Mario Davidovsky String Quartet no. 4
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 7, op. 59/1

One of the most celebrated American string quartets, the Brentano Quartet represents the pure-blood string quartet tradition. This quartet’s sound is not only revealed in their ensemble playing but also in their choice of programme: pure and clear. In this concert two substantial string quartets by Haydn and Beethoven frame the fourth string quartet by the iconic Argentinian-American composer Mario Davidovsky.

More info about Brentano Quartet

Read more

buy tickets

Davidovsky is a favourite among American string quartets. Like the Brentano Quartet he is a much cherished name in the United States string quartet scene. He studied with the renowned composers Aaron Copland and Milton Babbitt and developed an affinity for electronic music during that period. Nevertheless most of his works are without electronics, including his fourth string quartet.

Brentano-Quartet

Cuarteto Casals

  • 20:15
  • 29.01.2018
  • Grote Zaal

Spotify

Youtube

Abel Tomàs violin
Vera Martinez violin
Jonathan Brown viola
Arnau Tomàs cello

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 5, op. 18/5
Lucio Franco Amanti ReSolUtIo (world première)
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 10, op. 74 ‘Harp Quartet’

Beethoven and the Italian-Canadian composer Lucio Franco Amanti find common ground in a topic that is not usually associated with the string quartet. According to the Spanish Cuarteto Casals the music of both composers shares the same DNA: namely, improvisation. Amanti takes the ‘Harp Quartet’ as the point of departure for his first string quartet and transports the musicians and listeners to the improvisatory heart of Beethoven’s music.

More info about Cuarteto CasalsLucio Franco Amanti

Read more

buy tickets

Amanti sketches his image for us: ‘Our story begins on the central square of a fictitious town somewhere between Spain and Italy. The sun beats down with a Mediterranean intensity, heightening the colours and sparking desire for the shadow of the trees. The sounds of groups of street musicians coalesce, creating a spontaneous rhythm. The themes from Beethoven’s ‘Harp Quartet’ are heard from afar, suspended above the sounds of the street …’

Cuarteto-Casals
Lucio-Amanti

Quartetto di Cremona + Gary Hoffman + Lawrence Dutton

  • 20:15
  • 30.01.2018
  • Grote Zaal

Spotify

Youtube

Cristiano Gualco violin
Paolo Andreoli violin
Simone Gramaglia viola
Giovanni Scaglione cello

Lawrence Dutton viola (Emerson String Quartet)
Gary Hoffman cello

Franz Schubert String Quartet no. 15, D. 887
Arnold Schönberg Verklärte Nacht

Franz Schubert’s fifteenth and final string quartet crowns his magisterial oeuvre, while at the same time revealing the greatness that still lay concealed within the composer. He wrote the work at the age of 29, just two years before his death. Alternating between hope and sorrow, minor and major, the work winds its way along the highest peaks and through the deepest valleys.

More info about Quartetto di Cremona, Gary Hoffman, Lawrence Dutton

Read more

buy tickets

Arnold Schönberg’s Romantic sextet ‘Verklärte Nacht’ plumbs the extreme limits of sorrow, despair and love. Based on Richard Dehmel’s poem of the same name, the work unfolds around a passionate dialogue with a dramatic confession between two lovers in the night. Two quintessential masterworks united in a single concert.

Quartetto-di-Cremona
Gary-Hoffmann
Lawrence-Dutton

Emerson String Quartet + Quartetto di Cremona + Gary Hoffman

  • 20:15
  • 31.01.2018
  • Grote Zaal

Spotify

Youtube

Emerson String Quartet:

Eugene Drucker violin
Philip Setzer violin
Lawrence Dutton viola
Paul Watkins cello

Quartetto di Cremona:

Cristiano Gualco violin
Paolo Andreoli violin
Simone Gramaglia viola
Giovanni Scaglione cello

Gary Hoffman cello

Béla Bartók String Quartet no. 3
Anton Webern 6 Bagatellen for string quartet, op. 9
Dimitri Shostakovich Two pieces for String Octet, op. 11
Franz Schubert String Quintet in C, D 956

The Emerson String Quartet has been ranked among the world’s best quartets for more than 40 years. Joined by the cellist Gary Hoffman they form the dream team for Schubert’s quintet, one of the most sublime and perfect chamber music works ever written. Sublime music comes in all shapes and sizes, as the Emersons demonstrate with Webern’s 6 Bagatellen – six short, atonal pieces with an awe-inspiring expressive power.

More info about Emerson String Quartet, Gary Hoffman, Quartetto di Cremona

Read more

buy tickets

The irregular Hungarian rhythms and the close, interweaving harmonies in Bartók’s third string quartet create a provocative opening that chafes against Webern’s atonality with the fullness of Schubert.
The Emerson String Quartet also joins forces with the Quartetto di Cremona for Two Pieces for String Octet; an energetic work by Shostakovich, then an 18-year-old composition student who was starting to find his characteristic voice – high Romantic with atonal elements and volatile rhythms.

Emerson-String-Quartet
Gary-Hoffmann
Quartetto-di-Cremona

Cuarteto Quiroga + Cappella Amsterdam

  • 20:15
  • 01.02.2018
  • Grote Zaal

Spotify

Youtube

Aitor Hevia violin
Cibrán Sierra Vázquez violin
Josep Puchades viola
Helena Poggio cello

Katharine Dain soprano

Cappella Amsterdam
Lodewijk van der Ree, conductor

José Maria Sánchez-Verdú La porte de l’enfer (world première)
Pierre de la Rue Lamentations
Arnold Schönberg String Quartet no. 2

In this concert Cuarteto Quiroga and Cappella Amsterdam are suspended between the heaven of Schönberg and the hell of José Maria Sánchez-Verdú. The Spanish composer drew his inspiration for La porte de l’enfer – specially composed for this concert – from Auguste Rodin’s eponymous, colossal sculpture and poetry from the Second World War. The result is an imposing work for large choir and string quartet, a rare combination.

More info about Cuarteto Quiroga, Cappella Amsterdam, José Maria Sánchez-Verdú, Katharine Dain

Read more

buy tickets

Schönberg’s second string quartet is one of the most significant works in the history of music. With this work Schönberg cast aside tonality – the musical language used for composing up until that point – and introduced a new language: atonality. The difference can clearly be heard in his second string quartet. The first three movements are still tonally composed; they have a specific key, which feels like firm ground under one’s feet. In the fourth movement the solid base of tonality suddenly vanishes. It is as if the music glides weightlessly through space, with a serene tranquillity. This also explains the first words of the soprano, who only sings in the third and fourth movements: ‘Ich fühle Luft von anderem Planeten‘ – ‘I feel the air from other planets.’

Cuarteto-Quiroga
cappella-amsterdam
Katharine-Dain
José-Maria-Sánchez-Verdú

The Impossible Voyage

  • 19:00
  • 02.02.2018
  • Grote Zaal

Spotify

Youtube

Cuarteto Casals:

Abel Tomàs violin
Vera Martinez violin
Jonathan Brown viola
Arnau Tomàs cello

Quatuor Danel:

Marc Danel violin
Gilles Millet violin
Vlad Bogdanas viola
Yovan Markovitch cello

Doric String Quartet:

Alex Redington violin
Jonathan Stone violin
Hélène Clément viola
John Myerscough cello

Jorinde Keesmaat stage direction

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 3, op. 18/3
Benjamin Britten String Quartet no. 1
Dmitri Shostakovich String Quartet no. 7
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 11, op. 95

Dmitiri Shostakovich String Quartet no. 2
Dmitiri Shostakovich String Quartet no. 4
Benjamin Britten String Quartet no. 2

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 14, op. 131
Dmitiri Shostakovich String Quartet no. 15

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 16, op. 135
Benjamin Britten String Quartet no. 3

The pre-concert talk by Alex Ross (author of The Rest is Noise) will start at 18:15 on foyerdeck 1.

Embark on a six-hour voyage, criss-crossing between the oeuvres of three monumental composers – fittingly entitled The Impossible Voyage. As the name suggests it will be a demanding journey. It could be viewed as a mountain ascent; an optimistic, at times arduous climb, until one ultimately reaches the peak with Shostakovich’s fourth and Britten’s second quartet.

More info about Cuarteto Casals, Quatuor Danel, Doric String Quartet, Jorinde Keesmaat

Read more

buy tickets

After this buoyant, energetic climb, Cuarteto Casals and Quatuor Danel descend into the depths with Beethoven’s opus 131 and Shostakovich’s fifteenth string quartet. Finally the Doric String Quartet and Quatuor Danel see the light in the final quartets of Britten and Beethoven.

Taking the music as her point of departure, Jorinde Keesmaat’s staging makes subtle use of elements such as light and positioning, transforming The Impossible Voyage into a gesamtkunstwerk (total art work).

Cuarteto-Casals
Quatuor-Danel
Doric-String-Quartet
Jorinde-Keesmaat-4

Closing Concert

  • 20:15
  • 03.02.2018
  • Grote Zaal

Spotify

Youtube

Quatuor Danel:

Marc Danel violin
Gilles Millet violin
Vlad Bogdanas viola
Yovan Markovitch cello

O/Modernt String Quartet:

Hugo Ticciati violin
Daniel Rowland violin
Gareth Lubbe viola
Julian Arp cello

Evelyn Glennie percussion

Jorinde Keesmaat regie

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky String Quartet no. 1
Claude Debussy String Quartet
Henry Purcell
Chaconne in G minor
Leoš Janáček String Quartet no. 1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’
Askell Masson Frum
Evelyn Glennie Light in Darkness
James Tenney Having Never Written a Note for Percussion
Arvo Pärt Dona nobis pacem
Albert Schnelzer Apollonian Dances for string quartet (world première)

The Quatuor Danel, O/Modernt String Quartet and the percussionist Evelyn Glennie team up to conclude the first edition of the String Quartet Biennale under the direction of Jorinde Keesmaat: tradition, experiment, overtone singing, baroque and avant-garde; a spectacular crowning event to top off a week that has redefined the limits of the string quartet.

More info about Quatuor Danel, O/Modernt String Quartet, Evelyn Glennie, Jorinde Keesmaat

Read more

buy tickets

The first half of this extra long concert will feature Quatuor Danel, which pays tribute to the tradition with Tchaikovsky and Debussy – an evergreen, quintessential string quartet programme. After the interval the O/Modernt String Quartet and percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who has been deaf since the age of 12, will take centre stage. Embracing experimentation one last time, they will demonstrate that the string quartet genre is full of life and continuing to evolve. Jorinde Keesmaat’s staging adds a fitting visual image to this distinctive and varied programme.

Quatuor-Danel
Omodernt-String-Quartet
Evelyn-Glennie