String Quartets I

Emerson String Quartet

String Quartets I

Emerson String Quartet

Emerson String Quartet

© Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Past Dates

19:00 work introduction

Béla Bartók’s compository development can be followed particularly well in his six string quartets: while his “First String Quartet” from 1908 focuses on the late Romantic chromaticism of the post-Wagner era and Debussy’s sound world, his interest in Hungarian folk music becomes apparent nine years later in the “Second Quartet”. The “Third”, “Fourth” and “Fifth Quartet” are then evidence of an entirely individualised sound language and show Bartók at the height of his harmonic and formal mastery. The “Sixth String Quartet” from 1939, however, seems to hint at a resigned farewell by the composer, who died six years later in the USA.

In a cycle of three concerts, Musikfest Berlin 2013 puts all of Bartók’s six string quartets up for discussion – and all are interpreted by world-class ensembles. Kicking off the cycle is the Emerson String Quartet, an over 35-year-old internationally renowned American string quartet formation.

Known for their artfully arranged, varied and at the same time luminous concert programmes, the four musicians contrast Bartók’s folksy “Second” and the classically oriented “Sixth String Quartet” in this concert with Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s dramatically rebellious “String Quartet” in F minor op. 80 from 1847.

Béla Bartók [1881-1945]
String Quartet No. 2 op. 17 [1915-1917]

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy [1809-1847]
String Quartet No. 6 in F minor op. 80 [1847]

Béla Bartók
String Quartet No. 6 [1939]

Emerson String Quartet
Eugene Drucker, violin
Philip Setzer, violin
Lawrence Dutton, viola
Paul Watkins, cello