Australia Piano Quartet

Friday, 8 March 2019 at 8pm

Konstantin Shamray (guest piano), Kristian Winther (violin), James Wannan (viola), Thomas Rann (‘cello)

"...the APQ has developed a vividly intelligent, highly expressive and mature ‘voice’.  Its musicians appear to be perfectly matched, each with an impressive technique and sharing a resolved aesthetic rapport."  Artshub December 2016

 "The Australia Piano Quartet delivered a rivetting performance." Limelight, March 2017

 "Konstantin Shamray is a pianist of great intelligence matched by tremendous power." Adelaide Advertiser 2018 


Tickets for this concert can be purchased in advance



MOZART -  Piano quartet in E-flat major, K 493

BEETHOVEN -  Piano quartet in E-flat major, Op 16

BRAHMS -  Piano quartet in G minor, Op 25

About the Artists

The Australia Piano Quartet has been Ensemble in Residence at the University of Technology Sydney since 2012. The Quartet's  busy schedule includes a series presented by the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Recital Centre, and performances in Europe and Asia, including at the prestigious Wigmore Hall. In addition to standard piano quartet repertoire, the Quartet has commissioned many new piano quartets, and has been broadcast on Foxtel Arts, ABC Classic FM and BBC Radio 3. 

Read more about the artists

Programme Notes

The Quartet's programme for Sydney Mozart Society celebrates the extraordinary sound-worlds that composers have created within the piano quartet form. Mozart’s quartet is one of the first great Classical piano quartets; the voices of piano and strings are beautifully balanced, elegant and  lyrical. Beethoven’s piano quartet is unpredictable, adventurous and energetic, with lively themes and suprising musical treatments. Brahms' piano quartet  is expansive, intensely personal and dramatic,  building to an electrifying climax.

Mozart Piano quartet in E-flat major, K 493

Allegro / Larghetto / Allegretto

At the time when Mozart wrote his two piano quartets in Vienna in 1785 and 1786, the piano quartet was a relatively unknown genre of music.  It seems that his first piano quartet in G minor, K 478, was to have been the first of three, to be published by Mozart's friend and colleague, Franz Anton Hoffmeister.  It is said that when Hoffmeister complained that the public found the work too difficult and would not buy it, Mozart released him from the contract of publishing the remaining works.  In fact, Mozart's second piano quartet, this one in E flat which he completed about nine months later, was published not by Hoffmeister, but by Artaria.  Alfred Einstein writes that Mozart made this second work "technically a little easier, but in its originality, its freshness of invention, and its craftsmanship, it is no less a masterpiece.  It is bright in colour, but iridescent, with hints of darker shades.  [. . .]  When one listens to such a masterpiece, one can only recall Haydn's remark: 'The highest taste and, what is more, the most profound knowledge of composition' ".

 As in the case of the G-minor quartet, the first movement of this work is written in large-scale sonata form.  Roger Covell writes that the “conversational mastery” of Le Nozze di Figaro, which Mozart had completed five weeks earlier, “seems to be present in spirit in the dialogue . . . of the first movement: serene in tone, full of quickly established contrasts, wonderfully polished, yet far from bland and complacent.  The lyrical slow movement, also in sonata form, is, according to Covell, “music of extraordinarily delicate fancy”.  The lively finale is a high-spirited rondo based on a wonderful, pure, simple, main theme.  A concertante quality can be observed in all three movements – in the third movement, for example, a trill on the piano may be seen as equivalent to a cadenza in a full-blown concerto.

                                                                                                                             M. C.

Programme notes for other works will be available nearer to the concert date