13th IMF KH programme – 14th concert
Friday / June 12 / 7:30 p.m. / Church of St. Barbara
SCHUBERT – CHAUSSON
Franz Schubert: String Quartet, No. 14 in D minor, D 810 “Death and the Maiden”
Ernest Chausson: Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet in D major, Op. 21
Aron Quartett, Benjamin Herzl – violin, Sascha El Mouissi – piano
The unusual, perhaps even haunting title of Schubert´s quartet, Death and the Maiden, relates primarily to the composer´s use in the second movement here of the theme from his eponymous song. After all, this fluctuation of themes from vocal to instrumental output is quite common for Schubert. The song in question treats the ancient motif of danse macabre in conjunction with the image of a young woman, known from medieval frescoes and engravings. The atmosphere of the whole quartet is correspondingly stressful and dramatic, notwithstanding the occasional consolatory moment.
The reason why the French composer Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) designated his sextet for violin, piano and string quartet Concerto, is not entirely clear, and nor in fact is it relevant. We know that its premiere in 1892 was the first real triumph scored by the composer, a trained lawyer whose passion for music eventually prevailed over the original career. Its rich palette and emotionally charged content, coupled with an attractive treatment of the two solo parts alternating in contrast to the string ensemble, have continued to make this work sought out by interpreters.
sleeve-note: Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka