Our second concert of the fifth season will take place on November 26th in San Francisco and on November 27th in Palo Alto. Both concerts are at 4 o'clock. Purchase advance tickets online! Click the city name to purchase November concert tickets in San Francisco or Palo Alto. Tickets will also be available at the door (by cash/check only).
See you at the concert!
All the best,
Kati, Lisa, Anthony, and Bill
The New Esterházy Quartet
Season Five concert 2 • Haydn and his Students III
Quartets by Haydn, Reicha, Zmeskall, and Beethoven
Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 4pm; St Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 4pm; All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Palo Alto
Who Was Nicholas Zmeskall?
Spoiler alert: no definitive answer will be supplied by the New
Esterházy Quartet's post-Thanksgiving concert. We will play two quartets
dedicated to Zmeskall, and one quartet written by him, and by the end
of the concert you will know as much about him as we do...practically
nothing! There are a couple of articles from over 30 years ago in
obscure Austrian journals, not easily read, and surely some juicy
tidbits in Hungarian archives even less available to the curious but
non-professional scholar. Although there are countless volumes written about Beethoven and Haydn, even their
lives recede from us with each passing generation. Their flesh and
blood petrify to marble the more we study and admire their music.
Here, in a nutshell, is what we know about Nicholas
Zmeskall: he came to Vienna in 1784 at age 25 as an official in the
Hungarian side of the Austro-Hungarian monarchial government, he was a
cellist and composer, and he moved (and played) in the circles that
included the elder Haydn and the young Beethoven. When Haydn got around
to issuing his own edition of his Op. 20 Quartets, which had been
available in unauthorized editions for decades, either he or his
publisher dedicated the set to Zmeskall. Beethoven dedicated his Op. 95
Quartet to him also, Zmeskall being an imperturbable buddy to the
irascible composer, running errands for him, helping him with the
practical details of his life, and putting up with the insults and
irritations that alienated many of Beethoven's other friends. Zmeskall
not only played quartets with the Viennese elite, he wrote quartets as
well, and we'll hear one of his short and not entirely amateur
compositions on the program.
The one piece on the program not directly
connected to Zmeskall is by Haydn's student Anton Reicha, who as a young
man had played in the Bonn court orchestra alongside Beethoven, his
exact contemporary. Although it is not certain, Reicha's Quartet may
have been written in Vienna around 1805. The date of Zmeskall's Quartet
is likewise uncertain; in fact, this assigning of numbers and dates to
is an unfortunate distraction.
by men long dead, these works were intended to be brought to your ears
by living musicians in your presence. Thus your presence is as essential
as ours to their resurrection. Please join us on Saturday November 26
in St. Mark's Lutheran Church or Sunday November 27 in All Saints'
Episcopal Church. Both performances are at 4pm, please see our website
at www.newesterhazy.org for particulars.