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Season Five concert 4 • Haydn and his Students IV

Quartets by Haydn, Beethoven, and Wranitzky

Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 8pm; St Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Please note: this is an evening concert!

Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 4pm; All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Palo Alto


Dear Friend of Chamber Music,

The New Esterházy Quartet play our final subscription concerts on Saturday, April 14 in San Francisco and Sunday, April 15 in Palo Alto. This program is our fourth of quartets by Students of Haydn. You will hear a charming work by Anton Wranitzky which offers in the place of the traditional Minuet a Polonaise, or as he puts it, Alla Polacca. Anton Wranitzky, with his brother Paul, was a leader of the orchestra for the first performances of Haydn's Creation, and he arranged that oratorio for viola quintet. NEQ, with guest violist Benjamin Simon, will perform Wranitzky's version of Part One of Haydn's Creation at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse at 8pm on Monday evening, April 30. For details, please click here.

But back to our mid-April program—Haydn himself will be represented by his serious and experimental Quartet in F minor, Op. 20, No. 4. The first movement is as F minor as can be, dense, intense, and tragic. The minuet that follows is somewhat lighter, relieved by its trio, and the slow movement following is an impassioned aria and improvisation for the first violinist. Then a fugue, the Viennese Haydn's answer to Berlin critics of his contrapuntal ability. Even German-speaking lands recognize a north/south divide!

The second half of the program is given to perhaps the most monumental quartet of Haydn's recalcitrant student Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 132 in A minor. For those who know this work, we hope that our performance on instruments appropriate to the sound that Beethoven heard (in his imagination!) will give you new insights into what Beethoven expected from his players and his audiences. For those to whom this work is unfamiliar, we need only say that it is amazing and thrilling. That its intricacies could have come from a man suffering with profound deafness is nearly unimaginable.

Beethoven had been ill with a variety of ailments and treatments for some years, but in periods of remission he wrote his late quartets. The centerpiece of Op. 132 is the slow movement which he entitled Holy Song of Thanksgiving of a Convalescent to the Divinity. Three increasingly complex chorale episodes are interleaved with two lighter sections which he called Feeling Renewed Strength. The effect of their alternation is deep, and yet next he gives us a mock March fit to accompany nothing less than some sort of early 19th century Keystone Cops feature, which then leads to a melodramatic recitative, which carries us into a wild, almost desperate finale that sends the cellist to his fingerboard's (and his wits') end.

At the concerts we will offer coupons good for discounted subscriptions to our Sixth Season. We hope to see you there!

And lastly, a reminder of Let's Make History! a Classical Chamber Music Workshop presented by The San Francisco Early Music Society at St. Albert's Priory, one block from the Rockridge BART station in Oakland, June 17–23. The members of the New Esterházy Quartet will offer you the opportunity to hone your chamber music skills in this intensive one-week seminar in classical performance practice. Participants will discover new repertoire daily and perform casual concerts nightly. Individuals and groups are welcome to apply. To find out more and to sign up please click here

Thanks for your support this season!

Kati, Lisa, Anthony, William
The New
Esterházy Quartet

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New Esterházy Quartet
PO Box 251
Vacaville, California 95696

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