Michelangelo String Quartet
String Quartet in F Major op. 18/1
String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor op. 7 Sz 40
String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor Z mého života ("From My Life") T 116
The multinational Michelangelo String Quartet—its members hail from Romania, Russia, Japan, and Sweden, respectively—presents three works central to the history of the quartet genre. Beethoven’s Opus 18 No. 1, composed at the dawn of the 19th century, stands at the entrance to the extraordinary musical cosmos of the composer’s 16 string quartets. Better known by its subtitle "From My Life," Smetana’s deeply personal First Quartet of 1876 is the composer’s joyful and moving tribute to the past and the present—written at a time when his increasing deafness put an end to his public career. The first of Béla Bartók’s six quartets, completed in 1909 and strongly influenced by Beethoven, is a work of stylistic transition, beginning with a funeral dirge and ending with the folk-like energy typical of many of Bartók’s later chamber works.
This concert is part of the Quartet Festival.