Flinders Quartet

Friday, 2 March 2018 at 8pm

Shane Chen (violin), Nicholas Waters (violin), Helen Ireland (viola), Zoe Knighton (‘cello)

Photo credit: Agatha Yim

Programme

Mozart                     String quartet no 18 in A major, K 464

Mendelssohn           Four lieder arranged for string quartet by John Rotar

                                           6 Lieder, op 57 no 5 Venetianisches Gondellied
                                           6 Gesänge, op 34 no 2  Auf Flügeln des Gesanges
                                           12 Gesänge, op 8 no 8 Hexenlied
                                           12 Lieder, op 9 no 1 Frage 

Beethoven              String quartet no 12 in E-flat major, op 127

About the Artists

The Flinders Quartet is one of Australia’s most loved chamber music ensembles. For over twenty-two years, both Australian and overseas audiences have enjoyed the quartet’s fine ensemble work and the outstanding musicianship of each of its members.

Shane Chen (violin), Nicholas Waters (violin), Helen Ireland (viola) and Zoe Knighton (‘cello) combine extensive experience, intelligence and sensitivity to powerful effect in their music. They are tireless performers, with touring commitments, recordings, educational projects and the commissioning of new works.

Programme Notes

Sometimes – as in this concert – music can glow with jewel-like beauty. Mozart’s quartet, one of a series dedicated to Haydn, sparkles with effortless grace and sunny character. Mendelssohn’s lieder are finely polished gems, bright and poetic. While Beethoven’s quartet, the first of his late quartets, has a tender lyricism that shimmers against darker more dramatic themes in the work.

Mozart         String quartet no 18 in A major,  K 464

Allegro / Menuetto / Andante / Allegro

The musicologist, HC Robbins Landon, says that “on the whole [Mozart’s] six quartets dedicated to Haydn are even profounder and more accomplished masterpieces than the later three dedicated to the King of Prussia”. The works published as opera X (opus 10), were written between December 1782 and January 1785. Alfred Einstein writes that the “impression made by the [opus 33] quartets of Haydn was one of the profoundest Mozart experienced in his artistic life. […]  This time he learned as a master from a master; he did not imitate; he yielded nothing of his own personality”. Although Robbins Landon has written somewhat critically of this fifth of the so-called ‘Haydn’ quartet, I think that you will enjoy it. The work was said to be Beethoven’s favourite of all Mozart’s string quartets.

In the first movement you will hear an abundance of contrapuntal craftsmanship. An unusual feature of the quartet is that the menuet e trio movement is paced second, followed by the slow movement. The andante movement is a theme with six variations in which the theme is retained right through, becoming a climax in the sixth, thus giving a sound, formal shape to the movement as a whole. The contrapuntal style is entirely dominant in the finale, allowing the work to come to a weighty conclusion.

The work is known colloquially as “the Drum” by many Austrian musicians because of the obstinato rhythm in the finale of he variations movement.
                                                                                                                       M. C.

 

Detailed programme notes for the other works in this concert will be available nearerer to the concert date.

 

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                                                    Photo credit: Agatha Yim