Evening concert: Lou Bennett/Paul Stanhope, Mozart, Britten
with Australian String Quartet, Dr. Lou Bennett
Australian String Quartet
Dale Barltrop (violin)
Francesca Hiew (violin)
Christopher Cartlidge (viola)
Michael Dahlenburg (cello)
Lou Bennett/Paul Stanhope
New piece for string quartet and voice (European premiere)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet no. 15 KV 421
String Quartet no. 2
The Australian String Quartet, founded in 1985, represents the string quartet tradition on the oldest continent in a unique way. All four musicians are skilled in playing a beautiful Guadagnini instrument. Furthermore, the ensemble is renowned for presenting challenging programs with an Australian connection. During the String Quartet Biennale, their distinguished compatriots Lou Bennett and Paul Stanhope will be showcasing the European premiere of their composition for string quartet, this time featuring the addition of the human voice.
Mozart’s Fifteenth String Quartet, which is the second of the six quartets dedicated to Haydn, is a dramatic piece that foreshadows the poignant late string quartets of Beethoven. Similarly, in his Second String Quartet, Britten adopts a serious tone. The piece was written in 1945 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Purcell’s death. Just a few months prior, Britten and Yehudi Menuhin had toured the just liberated German concentration camps, an experience that undoubtedly influenced the composition of this quartet.