Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 8:00 pm
The Schumann Quartet exudes effortless grace. Born into a family of musicians, the three Schumann brothers have played together since childhood, ultimately recruiting one of Europe’s brightest young violists to complete the ensemble. The Quartet’s luminous performances have earned it BBC Music Magazine’s Newcomer Award and a three-year residency at Lincoln Center. Whether scaling the heights of the repertoire’s greatest classics or venturing into vital new works, the Schumann performs with crispness and brio, and was declared by Süddeutsche Zeitung to be “among the best quartets in the world.”
At Duke Performances, the Schumann quartet opens with Schubert’s Quartet No. 6, one of the composer’s rarely played pieces, notable for its lyrically sparkling final movement. The program culminates in Schubert’s titanic String Quartet No. 14, “Death and the Maiden,” written as the young composer was dying. Enveloped between the two Schubert works is 20th century American composer Charles Ives’ thoroughly original String Quartet No. 2, a lively depiction of four men embroiled in an impassioned debate. The juxtaposition of Schubert’s lush Viennese romanticism and Ives’ bold and vigorous modernism creates an intriguing new context for both of these revered composers.
Schubert: String Quartet No. 6 in D Major, D. 74
Ives: String Quartet No. 2
Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D. 810 (“Death and the Maiden”)
“Sparkling virtuosity and a willingness to astonish.”