In this concert we hear the last Quartets written by Mozart and Mendelssohn. Their moods are quite different. Mozart was in his early thirties and though he had fairly regular health scares there were no thoughts of his own mortality when he wrote this although he was desperately concerned about his wife’s health This strikingly beautiful Quartet was intended for the cello-playing King William of Prussia, thus the prominent cello part even though the full commission was never completed. It is a work of great sensitivity with scarcely a cloud in the sky and no hint whatsoever that it would be his last Quartet.
With Mendelssohn it is a very different story. He was also far too young to die, but he had just lost his beloved older sister Fanny to a stroke and he was to suffer the same fate a few weeks later. The Quartet is known as Requiem for Fanny and music veers from furious, unrestrained anger, movement after movement, broken only by an Adagio of inconsolable sadness. This raw and desperate Quartet is a long way from the classical restraint of his other Quartets. By the end you feel that the very fabric of music has been torn apart. These two dramatically contrasted works are separated by a short piece the Serbia composer, Aleksandra Vrebalov, wrote for the Kronos Quartet. The commission was for six minutes of virtuosic music based on gypsy tunes, employing the specific playing techniques of these nomadic musicians.
28. Last Works_Programme Notes
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European Broadcast 8pm Irish Standard Time
North American Broadcast 8pm ET (1am Irish Standard Time)
On Demand will become available after the conclusion of the North American broadcast for 48 hours (18 July 2am – 20 July 2am IST)
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||Quartet in F major K.590|
|Alexandra Vrebalov||Pannonia Boundless|
|Felix Mendelssohn||Quartet in F minor Op.80|
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