Established in 2007, the Meccore String Quartet is one of Europe's most compelling young ensembles. They had the honour of performing as the first ever Polish String Quartet during a ceremony of Holocaust Remembrance Day in the German Bundestag. The quartet has received numerous awards from prestigious chamber music competitions and has claimed international distinction following their nomination for the “Paszport Polityki” award in the classical music category for their “innovative approach to the music and for breaking the musical stereotypes.” The quartet was first tutored by the members of the Camerata Quartet and then studied with the Artemis Quartet at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels. Through a scholarship from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage the ensemble continues to fulfil their mission to popularize chamber music in places with limited access to culture.
The Alban Berg Quartett has long been considered one of the most prolific quartets in Europe. They made their debut in 1971 at the Vienna Konzerthaus. The Quartet has received over thirty major international awards, including the Grand Prix du Disque, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Edison Prize, the first International Classical Music Award, the Japan Grand Prix, and the Gramophone Magazine Award. Its members serve as professors at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, in Vienna, and since 1993 have joined the faculty of the Hochschule für Musik, in Cologne, as successors of the Amadeus Quartet. Following an international farewell tour, the Alban Berg Quartett took its final bow in July of 2008.
The Souvenir de Florence string sextet was Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s last chamber work. The piece had been promised to the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society following the affirmation of the composer’s honorary membership in 1886. However, the work was largely composed during the summer of 1890, after an extended stay in Florence. Tchaikovsky had sketched the principal theme for the slow movement while in the city, lending to its title, Souvenir de Florence. The Chamber Music Society gave the official premiere in November of 1892 in a performance that included the celebrated violinist Leopold Auer. The work itself exudes a charm and eloquence that Tchaikovsky juxtaposes against the ideas of Russian intensity and passion. The texture, also relevant, overflows with tuneful Italian melodies placed against an active accompaniment that is said to call to mind Felix Mendelssohn’s famed Octet for Strings.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator