Joseph Swensen fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Joseph Swensen fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Orchestral concerts
Death and the Maiden
10.12
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Programme:

J. Haydn String Quartet in D major op. 20 no. 4, Hob. III:34 (arr. J. Swensen)
***
F. Schubert String Quartet No. 14 in D minor D 810 "Death and the Maiden" (arr. G. Mahler)

Performers:

Joseph Swensen – conductor
NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

Venue:
NFM, Red Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Tickets:
from 20 to 55 zł

 It’s not without reason that in the past the string quartet genre was said to be a dialogue of four intelligent interlocutors who all have something important to communicate. Indeed, despite being written for a small lineup, quartets are often extremely emotional compositions full of expression. This is certainly true for the quartets of Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert. Although there is a 50-year gap between them, both are in the canon of chamber music masterpieces.

 Haydn composed string quartets throughout almost his entire life, and we essentially owe him the classical, four-part structure of the piece. Initially, the composer was leaning towards the idea of five-movement compositions, making a reference to baroque aesthetics. The change of plan and the beginning of the classical quartet style came later, in String Quartets Op. 20, also known as the ‘Sun’ quartets. The composer made a significant contribution to the texture of the genre here, by giving equal importance to each instrument. Moreover, he deliberately emphasized a broad spectrum of contrasts – in the tempo, dynamics and articulation. String Quartet in D major Op 20 No. 4, which will be performed this evening, exemplifies this perfectly.

String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, ‘Death and the Maiden’, was composed by Franz Schubert in 1824, at the end of the composer’s rather short life. The meaningful title is a reference to the song he wrote seven years previously. He composed it to lyrics by Matthias Claudius, a German 18th/19th-century poet. The work is full of dramatism, reflected in the dialogue of life and death struggling with each other. The composition was particularly admired by Gustav Mahler, who adapted it for a string orchestra in 1894.

 

 

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