Elias String Quartet
Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 8:00 pm
The Elias String Quartet seems to live inside the pieces it plays. The ensemble conveys both emotional and structural sophistication with astounding clarity. Formed at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music a quarter-century ago, the Elias is both a definitive interpreter of standard repertoire, having recorded Beethoven’s entire output for quartet, and a passionate champion of the world’s best living composers. Heralded for its “bold, rich tone and deeply-felt interpretation” by The New York Times, it ranks among the most venerated quartets of its generation.
For its second Duke appearance, the Elias couples two classics with a new work written just for them. The concert begins with Mozart’s sumptuous Quartet No. 15 in D Minor. A work of immersive contrasts, reportedly written during the birth of his first child, it is the second of Mozart’s quartets dedicated to Haydn. The concert concludes with Schumann’s emotionally charged Quartet in A Minor. The last of a triptych of quartets he wrote in 1842, it is elegantly doleful — almost a lament. Between the Mozart and the Schumann, the Elias play a new work commissioned from the engaging British composer Sally Beamish as a companion piece for the Schumann.
Mozart: String Quartet No. 15 in D Minor, K. 421
Sally Beamish: New commission, title to be announced
Schumann: String Quartet in A Minor, op. 41, no. 1
“The subtlety and affection of the group’s playing is coupled to rhythmic drive and a questing collective imagination.”