[ Concerts ]
Hagen String Quartet plays all-Beethoven program Nov. 12
– The Independent
The Oneppo Chamber Music Series at the Yale School of Music presents the Hagen String Quartet, hailed as “brilliant” and “breathtaking,” in an all-Beethoven program on Tuesday, November 12 at 8 pm.
The Hagen Quartet, now in the middle of touring the complete Beethoven string quartets, will play two of Beethoven’s monumental late works: the Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 127, and Quartet in A minor, Op. 132.
After twelve years without writing any string quartets, Beethoven returned to the genre with some sketches in 1822. A few years later he received a commission and, within the year, he wrote three string quartets, including the two on this program.
Sandra Hylsop has written that “the String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, offers a particularly rich exploration of [the] extremes of human experience,” and that the Op. 127 quartet brings “echoes of the Missa solemnis, which Beethoven had just completed.”
The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). David Shifrin is the director of the Oneppo Chamber Music Series.
About the Performers
Praised for their unique, finely nuanced timbre and the engaging immediacy of their ensemble sound, the Hagen Quartet was founded in 1981 by four Hagen siblings: violinists Lukas and Angelika (whose chair has been filled by Rainer Schmidt since 1987), violist Veronika, and cellist Clemens in Salzburg.
Thirty years later, the Quartet has been celebrating its anniversary with extensive touring of the first presentation of the complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets in its history. From August 2012 through December 2013, the Quartet is performing this pinnacle of musical composition in the major music centers of the world, including Paris, London, Vienna, Salzburg and Tokyo. The Quartet will perform it for the first time in North America on November 7-17, 2013 at 92nd Street Y.
Among other highlights of its 30th anniversary, in October 2011, the Hagen Quartet was recognized with the prestigious Echo Klassik Award for Ensemble of the Year, and in 2012, it was named Honorary Member of Vienna’s Konzerthaus. The Quartet also released two acclaimed new recordings to celebrate its anniversary, both on Myrios Classics: a disc of string quartets by Beethoven, Mozart and Webern; and a pairing of Grieg’s String Quartet in G minor with Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet, featuring clarinetist Jörg Widmann. In June, Myrios released an all-Beethoven disc representing the opposite ends of his quartet-composing career: Op. 18, Nos. 3 and 5 (1798-1800), and Op. 135 (1826).
The Hagen Quartet’s concert repertoire and discography embrace the history of the string quartet, from its pre-Haydn beginnings to György Kurtág. The Hagen Quartet also works closely with composers of its own generation, whether by reviving existing works or by commissioning and premiering new pieces. Collaborations with other artists, such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Maurizio Pollini, Mitsuko Uchida, Sabine Meyer, Krystian Zimerman and Heinrich Schiff, are also important to the Quartet. As teachers and mentors at the Salzburg Mozarteum and the Hochschule in Basel, as well as in international master classes, the quartet’s members pass on their experience to younger colleagues.