Death Programme

This programme takes a look at the intimacy and grief of death. Mendelssohn's last quartet was written 'In Memoriam' for his beloved sister Fanny who died tragically young (he himself did not last long thereafter). The piece takes it's inspiration from the extraordinary Op.95 of Beethoven. Beethoven actually found this work so intensely intimate that he didn't want to be played in public.

Karen Tanaka's piece is her beautiful response to Beethoven's Op.18 no.3 which we commissioned in 2000. Puccini wrote his Crisantemi in one night on hearing the news that a dear friend had died; chrysanthemums being the flower of death.

Purcell Chaconne in G minor
Tanaka At the Grave of Beethoven
Beethoven Op. 95 ‘Serioso’
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Schubert Quartettsatz D703
Puccini Crisantemi
Mendelssohn String Quartet in F minor, Op. 80

Love

Shostakovich 2 Pieces

Janacek Intimate Letters

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Bartok 1st Quartet

 

Death

Tanaka At the Grave of Beethoven

Britten 3

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Schubert Death and the Maiden

In Memoriam

Shostakovich 11

Beethoven op.95

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Puccini Crisantemi

Mendelssohn op 80

Prayer

Turina Bullfighter’s Prayer

Kraggerud Preghiera

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Golijov Tenebrae

Beethoven op 132

A four-concert series inspired by their titles: 

The Brodsky Quartet have earned a reputation for exciting and imaginative programmes, steering clear of the accepted norms of chamber music concerts, and have received a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for innovation in programming. Here is a small selection of some favourite combinations and series. For all Special Projects (both current and historical) involving other artists, please see ‘Collaborations’ page.

Two Italy-inspired programmes

 

Wolf Italian Serenade
Puccini Crisantemi
Verdi String Quartet
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Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence (sextet)

Wolf Italian Serenade
Puccini Crisantemi
Respighi String Quartet 'Dorico'
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Verdi String Quartet

Rhythm & Texture Programme 

An unusual programme in which vibrant rhythms and magical textures play a major role.

Alvarez Metro Chabacano
Gershwin Lullaby
Lavista Reflejos de la Noche
Golijov Tenebrae
//
Ravel String Quartet in F

World Programme

Most of these pieces have been written for us and the prog as a whole gives a wonderful kaleidoscope of sounds.

Tanaka At the Grave of Beethoven
Alvarez Metro Chabacano
Lavista Reflejos de la Noche
 Jegede Quartet No. 2
//
Copland Two Pieces
Verbey Spring Rain
Sculthorpe Quartet No. 11 "Jabiru Dreaming"

British Programme

Arguably England's greatest composer to date, Britten was passionate about the string quartet and wrote many pieces for that combination. Here we showcase two of the three great numbered quartets. The third quartet, rather like Shostakovich's 15th, is his swan-song. Written in his beloved Venice it is a remarkable work, at once upbeat yet tragic.This is partnered with the delightful Three Idylls from his teacher and dear friend. Britten held Bridge's music in very high regard and indeed took the 2nd of these as his inspiration for his Frank Bridge Variations.

The hugely virtuosic and exciting 2nd Quartet is introduced by the exquisite Purcell 'Chaconne'. Britten was a huge fan of Purcell's music and in fact the monumental last movement here is itself a Chaconne in homage.

Bridge Three Idylls
Britten String Quartet No. 3
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Purcell Chaconne in G minor
Britten String Quartet No. 2

1st spin – All the pieces in this section are typical ‘openers’ of around 5-10 minutes long and range from Mozart and Schubert to Piazolla and Turina.

2nd spin – These pieces are about 20 minutes long and again show a wide range of composers from Beethoven to Britten. They are all pieces that the Brodsky Quartet would offer in many of their concerts.

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3rd spin – This section presents works that were written in the quartet’s lifetime, many of them commissioned by or for the quartet – a great opportunity for audiences to hear something new.

4th spin – These are the longer, more traditional string quartets of about 30 minutes such as Elgar, Mendelssohn and Schubert

Wheel of 4Tunes

       In celebration of the Brodsky                                     Quartet’s 40th anniversary in 2012                         they presented the ‘Wheel of 4Tunes’!                     This fantastic event promises a diverse                  programme of music chosen in an                         informal and fun way. Throughout                      the evening the wheel is spun to                           create a programme from a selection                 of 40 of their favourite quartets and                   short pieces. The sheet music is kept at            the quartet’s feet throughout the concert       and each piece will be picked out as it arises! The quartet also discuss the music and invite questions from the audience – creating an ‘Audience with the Brodskys’ feel.

ELGAR FOCUS

Chanson de Matin 

La Capricieuse

Chanson de Nuit

String Quartet in E Minor

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Piano Quintet (with Martin Roscoe)

complete works cycles

JANACEK PLUS

Beethoven String Quartet Op.95

Janacek String Quartet No. 1

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Debussy String Quartet

Beethoven String Quartet Op.74

Janacek String Quartet No. 2

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Ravel String Quartet

FUGUES

Bach Art of Fugue

Mozart Adagio and Fugue

Shostakovich String Quartet no.8 

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Mendelssohn Fugue

Beethoven Grosse Fugue

SHOSTAKOVICH

Five performances spaced over one weekend or across an entire season, and anything in between...

‘…the opportunity to experience the complete quartets in live performance is a rare privilege…’

Eammon Kelly, The Australian

 

PROGRAMME 1

Shostakovich Quartet No. 1 in C major, Op.49 
Shostakovich Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op.68 
//
Shostakovich Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op.73 

PROGRAMME 2

Shostakovich Quartet No. 6 in G major, Op.101 
Shostakovich Quartet No. 4 in D major, Op.83 
//
Shostakovich Quartet No. 5 in B flat major, Op.92 

PROGRAMME 3 (Dedicated to his wives and himself)

Shostakovich Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op.108 (Nina)
Shostakovich Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op.110 (DSCH)
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Shostakovich Quartet No. 9 in E flat major, Op.117 (Irina)

PROGRAMME 4  (Each work is dedicated to one of his great friends, the members of the Beethoven Quartet, who premiered most of the works). 

Shostakovich Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op.122 (Violin II)
Shostakovich Quartet No. 12 in D flat major, Op.133 (Violin I)

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Shostakovich Quartet No. 13 in B flat minor, Op.138 (Viola)
Shostakovich Quartet No. 14 in F sharp major, Op.142 (Cello)


PROGRAMME 5

Shostakovich Quartet No. 10 in A flat major, Op.118 

//
Shostakovich Quartet No. 15 in E flat minor, Op.144 

‘…the opportunity to experience the complete quartets in live performance is a rare privilege…’

Eammon Kelly, The Australian

LATE BEETHOVEN

Three concerts covering the last years of the great composer’s string quartet output, from the ‘Harp’ to the last work he penned, the delightful ‘Rondo’ of opus 130, written to replace the misunderstood ‘Grosse Fugue’.

Concert 1

Op 95 (Serioso)

Op135

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Op 131

 

Concert 2

Op 74 (Harp)

Op 133 (Grosse Fugue)

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Op 132

 

Concert 3

Op 127

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Op 130 

ZEMLINSKY

Having recorded the complete quartets of this undeservedly neglected genius, we devised programmes to include them, here with some giants of the repertoire. They can also provide a very neat two-concert set juxtaposing the four quartets with Webern’s miniature ‘Six Bagatelles’ and ‘Five Pieces’.

Concert 1 

Zemlinsky No1

//

Beethoven op 131

 

Concert 2

Schubert Quartettsatz

Brahms A minor p 51 no 2

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 Zemlinsky No 2

Concert 3 

Zemlinsky No 3

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Brahms C minor op 51 no 1 

 

Concert 4

Mozart Adagio and Fugue

Zemlinsky no 4 

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Beethoven op 132

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