There is a distinct core to the sound of Nordic composers of the 19th and 20th century. A powerful chordal resonance pervades the Mustonen and Grieg quartets on this program, which combine with Haydn to reveal a sound-world that shimmers with brilliance.
Haydn’s Op 76 No 5 quartet shows the composer at the height of his craft. The miraculous slow movement, in the radiant key of F sharp major, is one of the most sublime movements Haydn ever wrote. In distinct contrast with the effervescent music around it, it is almost as if time stands still in the heart of this work.
In his own words, Finnish composer Olli Mustonen describes his first string quartet as “a journey from darkness to light.” Composed in 2016, it balances fervent rhythms and hymnal melodies with intertwining psychological and physical elements which are said to evoke travel into fantasy worlds.
Grieg’s first string quartet is a rousing tour de force of romantic melodies infused with Norwegian nationalistic flair. Its four movements are marked by a raw emotional power that has earned this work its place as one of Scandinavia’s most celebrated string quartets.
String Quartet in D Major, Op.76 No.5
String Quartet No.1
String Quartet No.1 in G minor, Op.27
Approximately 120 minutes including interval