Julian Rachlin, Sarah McElravy, Boris Andrianov & Itamar Golan
Mozart / Dvořák / Brahms
Date of EventMonday, 21. 5. 2018 from 20.00
Expected end of the concert 22.10
Event placeRudolfinum – Dvořák Hall
Price200 - 950 CZK Sold out
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Quartet in E flat major KV 493
- Antonín Dvořák: Piano Quartet No. 2 in E flat major Op. 87
- Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major Op. 26
- Julian Rachlin - violin, viola
- Sarah McElravy - viola
- Boris Andrianov - cello
- Itamar Golan - piano
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Julian Rachlin, the Prague Spring 2018 Artist-in-Residence, has many years of experience with chamber music, the most splendid example of which is his internationally recognised chamber music festival the Julian Rachlin & Friends Festival. Among Rachlin’s musical partners are a large number of illustrious musicians, including the cellist Mischa Maisky, the violist Lawrence Power, the French horn player Radek Baborák, and the pianist Itamar Golan – the latter will be accompanying Rachlin at his festival recital on 16 May as well as this evening.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) composed two piano quartets, both while living in Vienna, where he spent the last ten years of his life. I both cases, he was inspired by the music of Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, whose piano sonatas Mozart transcribed as chamber concertos with the accompaniment of two violins and bass when he was still a boy.
The Piano Quartet in E flat major KV 493 was originally to have been part of a set of three quartets commissioned from the composer by one of the leading Viennese publishers, Franz Anton Hoffmeister. The first of the set, written in G minor, seemed to the publisher to be too difficult for amateur players, so out of concern that the planned cycle would sell poorly, he released Mozart from their contract. This fact, however, did not dissuade the composer, and a year after the aforementioned Quartet in G minor, he added another, the Quartet in E flat major. He completed it on 3 June 1786, just a month after the premiere of his opera The Marriage of Figaro.
“You want to know what I’m doing? My head is full of music – if only I could write it down immediately! But there’s nothing for it – I can write only as quickly as my hand will allow, and the Lord God will have to take care of the rest. Now I’ve got three movements of a new piano quartet completely finished, and the finale will be done in a few days. It’s going more easily than expected, and melodies keep pouring into my mind. Thank God!” In this letter to his friend Alois Göbl, Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was describing work on his Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 87, written between July and August 1889. The composer’s publisher Simrock had been urging him to write such a work for years, and after its premiere on 17 October 1890 in Frankfurt am Main, Simrock issued it in print almost immediately. The work is a marvellous example of Dvořák’s originality in handling classical forms; the Finale in particular is literally thrilling.
The Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major Op. 26 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) lasts nearly fifty minutes, making it his longest piece of chamber music. This imposing composition was first performed in Vienna in late 1862 with composer playing the piano part himself. The composer handles sonata form masterfully in the opening Allegro non troppo, in which two interesting elements appear: a chorale melody followed by a lyrical theme that is first played – somewhat unusually – by the cello. The slow Poco adagio opens muted strings over a radiant melody for piano. The third movement is a lengthy Scherzo, and the Finale is full of rhythmic excitement with hints of Hungarian music that are typical of Brahms.
The Moscow native Boris Adrianov is a laureate of a number of international competitions (Tchaikovsky Youth Competition, International Shostakovich Competition, Classica Nova in Hannover, Sixth International Mstislav Rostropovich Cello Competition in Paris, etc.). He has appeared as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Mariinsky Orchestra, and he has collaborated with the conductors Valery Gergiev and Vasily Petrenko and the composer Krzysztof Penderecki. He has been teaching at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow since 2009.
The Canadian violist and violinist Sarah McElvary studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music (Paul Kantor and Stephen Rose) and at Yale University. A founding member of the award-winning Linden String Quartet, she has given concerts in the USA and in many countries of Europe and Asia. She has won numerous awards (Coleman-Barstow Prize, ProQuartet Prize etc.). Among her concert partners this season are Janine Jansen, Nicolas Altstaedt, and Vilde Frang.