The Danel Quartet and the musicologist, David Fanning, have been single-handedly responsible for the discovery of Weinberg’s Quartets over the last twenty years. The Festival first featured Weinberg on the recommendation of the Borodin Quartet, who had premiered several of his Quartets. This year’s cancelled Festival was to give the first Irish performances of the complete set of Weinberg’s 17 Quartets. This has been postponed to next year and meanwhile the Danel are offering his 5th Quartet and the delightful miniature ‘Improvisation and Romance’. This is a recently discovered work that had its second ever performance as an encore in Bantry in 2018. The key thing to know about Weinberg is that he was a Polish Jew living in Warsaw when the Nazis invaded in 1939. By a series of extraordinary miracles he escaped to Soviet Russia but his entire family was slaughtered. He was also a close friend of Shostakovich and they inspired and supported each other. Weinberg’s Fifth Quartet was composed in 1945, opening with a yearning threnody on the first violin. The sparse introspective mood creates music of intimate beauty that lasts throughout the work, bursting out only in the high-octane Scherzo and briefly in the wonderfully melodic finale. Beethoven’s early G major Quartet is known in German-speaking countries as ‘Komplimentier Quartett’, which sums up its graceful, tuneful and witty nature.
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 (6 June 2am – 8 June 2am IST)
|Mieczysław Weinberg||Improvisation & Romance|
|Ludwig van Beethoven||Quartet in G major Op.18/2|
|Mieczysław Weinberg||Quartet No.5 Op.27|
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