Music by Joseph Haydn, Emelie Mayer and Ludwig van Beethoven with the celebrated quartet playing on period instruments with gut strings.
About the video
- Published online 30 October 2022.
- Filmed 22 October 2022.
- The video is approximately two hours.
Chiaroscuro Quartet – with Swedish Emilie Hörnlund on viola – was formed in 2005 and has been described as pioneering for their authentic interpretations on gut strings. The unique sound of the quartet, described in The Observer as “a shock to the ears of the best kind” – has been acclaimed by audiences and critics worldwide. The Chiaroscuro Quartet performs music from the Classical and early Romantic period.
Joseph Haydn composed six string quartets in summer and autumn of 1781. This set of quartets has several nicknames, the most common of which is the Russian Quartets, because they are dedicated to the Grand Duke Paul of Russia. Haydn explained in a letter that he composed these string quartets in a brand new and different way than he had worked before. Here, we hear the fourth in B flat major.
German Emilie Mayer began her career as a composer relatively late in life, but still managed to write numerous pieces. The string quartet in G minor is one of seven string quartets composed by Mayer that were published in her lifetime. This lively piece can be compared to the quartets of Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Schumann, but Mayer’s music has only been rediscovered in modern times – a fate she shares with many female composers. Listen carefully to the adagio, in which Mayer references the famous Bach chorale Wer nurden lieben Gott lässt walten (“Who allows God alone to rule him”).
C major was Beethoven’s most joyful and optimistic key, which we hear in the third of the acclaimed so-called Razumovsky Quartets, dedicated to Count Andreas Razumovsky. The quartet begins with a mystical and billowing feel, with no real direction, but soon explodes into a euphoric C-major chord.
Joseph Haydn String Quartet in B flat major op 33:4
Emilie Mayer String Quartet No. 1 in g minor
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet No. 9 in C major
- Chiaroscuro Quartet
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