Chamber music played a crucial role in Schubert's life and in the legendary Schubertiades, where musicians would gather to play his new pieces. This concert features a few exquisite classics from the instrumental repertoire of the 19th century.The Kodály String Quartet's concert programme strings up the most precious pearls of Schubert's music in a highly coherent logical thread limited to noteworthy and mature masterpieces. Serving almost as an overture to open the concert, the String Quartet Movement in C minor, known as the "Quartettsatz”, is richly dark in timbre, with a tone that is wild and frantic coupled with a dramatically tragic sound. Inextricably connected to this same mood is Der Tod und das Mädchen: performed by Erika Miklósa and József Balog, this lied is one of the key pieces of Romantic death poetry, portraying death not as the nightmarish spectre of the Middle Ages, but as a brotherly being, a gentle and benevolent redeemer. Schubert's oeuvre includes several instrumental works that rework his own songs. With its slow, second movement, in which Schubert composed variations on the Death and the Melody tune introduced previously, his String Quartet in D minor is a good example of this.
Two similarly paired works will close the concert - although this time in a carefree and light-hearted spirit - with the song Die Forelle followed by the extraordinary melodic inventiveness of its witty and sparkling namesake, the Trout Quintet. In this piece composed for piano and five strings, it is again the variations of the slow movement that inspired the theme of the song. This evening is an extraordinary occasion and a rare treat for lovers of lovingly compiled concert programmes.
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