Evening concert: Mozart, MacMillan, Brahms
with Brentano String Quartet, Hsin-Yun Huang
Brentano String Quartet
Serena Canin (violin)
Mark Steinberg (violin)
Misha Amory (viola)
Nina Lee (cello)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet no. 20 KV 499
String Quintet (European premiere)
String Quintet no. 2
Almost all major composers have at times expanded the string quartet with a fifth instrument. This has resulted in monumental compositions such as Schubert’s quintet with two cellos. Brahms used sketches for his Fifth Symphony for a work with a symphonic design: his Second String Quintet convincingly pushes the boundaries of chamber music. Scottish composer James MacMillan also explored the possibilities of a quintet.
Good relationships with publishers are vital for composers. Mozart dedicated his KV 499 to his publisher and fellow Freemason Franz Anton Hoffmeister. At the age of 57, Brahms wrote to his publisher Simrock that his Second String Quintet would be his last composition, and that he would enjoy a quiet old age. Fortunately, he did not keep this promise, or we would have missed out on some wonderful works.
Extending String Quartet: Around Bartók's Fifth