Signum Quartett - Programmes

#quartweets can be integrated in all programmes on request. You will find information and audio samples on www.signumquartet.com.

Programmes 2019-20  
   
From afar  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Quartet movement in c minor D. 703
Thomas Adès (*1971) Arcadiana op. 12 alternating with
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Arragements of Lieder by Xandi van Dijk:
  Lied aus der Ferne, Lachen und Weinen, Die
  Götter, Griechenlands, Du bist die Ruh
***  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) String quartet D. 810 “Death and the Maiden” or String quartet in a minor D. 804 “Rosamunde”

Inner unrest, confrontation with death and a longing after a far-away, peaceful idyll represent the central motives of this special programme of the latest CD by the Signum Quartet. „Schöne Welt, wo bist du? - Kehre wieder, holdes Blütenalter der Natur!“, (Fair world, where are you? Return again, sweet springtime of nature!) is the opening of Friedrich Schiller’s „Die Götter Griechenlands“, which Franz Schubert set as a wistful and yearning song. This song also finds its way into the opening bars of the Menuet of his „Rosamunde“ Quartet – also the Cypriot princess Rosamunde, who grew up idyllically amongst the shepherds, belongs to an ancient antiquity. Thomas Adès has formed, in seven short movements, a colourful, similarly dreamily indistinct Arcadia in which one encounters Schubert again – from afar – in the third movement „Auf dem Wasser zu singen“.

Without Words  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Die Götter Griechenlands (Arr.: Xandi van Dijk)
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Andante from string quartet “Death and the Maiden”
Leos Janácek (1854-1928) String quartet no. 1 „Kreutzersonate”
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Du bist die Ruh’ (Arr.: Xandi van Dijk)
***  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) String quartet in a minor D. 804 “Rosamunde”

The works contained in this evocative and moving programme are inspired by literary models – poems, a novella and a play – and, with a crisis situation as the point of departure, deal with the past in different ways. Schubert’s Lieder, including that contained in his String Quartet “Death and the Maiden”, speak of the end of mortal existence, and the unquenchable longing after a peaceful place, which is to be found in the distant past in accordance with the ideals of an utopian Arcadia. Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata“, which inspired Leos Janácek to write his expressive first string quartet, is critical of the established norms of a patriarchal society against the backdrop of a broken marriage.

Lachen und Weinen  
(Laughter and Weeping)  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Quartet movement in c minor D. 703
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Arr. of his Lieder by X. van Dijk: Lachen und Weinen
  (Laughter and Weeping) etc.
Leos Janácek (1854-1928) String quartet no. 1 „Kreutzersonate”
***  
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) String quartet in F major op. 41 no. 2

„Lachen und Weinen“ is a programme of three composers, who, each in their own way, contended with emotional battles in their lives: Schubert and Schumann suffered severe depressions, Janacek lost both children at an early age and until his death was trapped in a broken marriage. One can clearly hear Schubert’s unrest in his Quartettsatz, and his songs speak of laughing and weeping, even without words. Janacek’s marital crises are dealt with more indirectly in his first string quartet, which is based loosely on Tolstoy’s novella “The Kreutzer Sonata“. When Schumann was having “quartet thoughts“ in the summer of 1842 and trying to find his own approach to the string quartet, he was hampered by the weight of the classical legacy – Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven in particular.

Memory  
Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791) String quartet in G major K. 387
Robert Fokkens (*1975) „Glimpses of a half-forgotten future” or
Thomas Adès (*1971) Arcadiana op. 12
***  
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) String quartet in g minor op. 10

The titles of this programme refers to different forms of remembering: Mozart’s quartet is one of the so-called “Haydn Quartets“, which pay homage to the father of the string quartet. The work by the South African composer Robert Fokkens, composed in 2012, is of an elegiac character and, in his words, reflects “on those moments where death unexpectedly enters our lives, both bringing grief for those lost and opening a dark window through which we see our own inevitable end”. Adès’ “Arcadiana” brings into being a distant world by the juxtaposition of colourful miniature worlds, in which Mozart’s “Das klinget so herrlich, das klinget so schön” comes across as a remote memory. Debussy, who considered Mozart one of his favourite composers, uses a “remembering” musical motto to bind the movements of his impressionist quartet together.

Beethoven 2020 - The Last Way  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) String quartet in a minor D. 804 “Rosamunde”
n.n. #BEEtweets (Commissioned #quartweets)
***  
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) String quartet in B flat major op. 131
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Du bist die Ruh’ (Arr.: Xandi van Dijk)

When the funeral cortège brought the mortal remains of Ludwig van Beethoven to their final resting place in 1827, Franz Schubert was among the pallbearers. Even though the acquaintance between the two composers seems to have been at best casual, the musical life of Vienna bound them together closely. Central to this connection was the violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh, whose eponymous quartet was a pioneer in arranging the first public chamber music cycles and in presenting the quartets of Beethoven to a broader audience. Schubert dedicated his "Rosamunde“ Quartet to this experienced and adept violinist. Yet only a year after he had paid Beethoven his last respects, Schubert himself lay on his deathbed. Here he requested a performance of Beethoven‘s op. 131 and, if possible, to be interred in the Währinger Cemetery next to the great master and idol.

With Nils Mönkemeyer - viola  
   
The Last Thought  
Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791) String quintet in B flat major K. 174
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) String quintet in C major op. 29
***  
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) String quartet in F major op. 135
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) String quintet in C major WoO 62 (fragment) leading into
n.n. #BEEtweets (Commissioned #quartweets)

The programme follows the developement of Beethoven's chamber music for strings departing from his idol Mozart, presenting his quintet op. 29 and his last completed quartet op. 135 and ending with his last thought - sketches of a quintet in C major which will be continued and commented by commissioned #BEEtweets.

Hunting the Fugue  
Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791) Adagio and Fugue in E major from J. S. Bach‘s
  “The Well-Tempered Clavier“ BWV 878
Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791) String quartet in B flat major K. 458 “Hunt“
Joerg Widmann (*1973) String quartet no. 3 “Hunt“ (2003)
***  
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) String quartet in B flat major op. 130 with
  Great Fugue op. 133
   
   
   
   
Fragments of an Eternity  
Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791) Adagio and Fugue in c minor K. 546
Robert Fokkens (*1975) “Glimpses of a half-forgotten future”
Anton Webern (1883-1945) Langsamer Satz (Slow movement)
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Quartet movement c-Moll D 703 (Fragment)
***  
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Contrapunktus 18 from: The Art of the
Fugue BWV 1080 (unfinished)  
Konstantia Gourzi (*1962) No. 2: “P-llion – Fragments on an Eternity“
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Great Fugue in B flat major op. 133
SIGNUM QUARTETT & GUESTS  
   
With Elisabeth Leonskaja - piano  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) String quartet in a minor D. 804 “Rosamunde”
Robert Fokkens (*1975) “Glimpses of a half-forgotten future” or
Leos Janácek (1854-1928) String quartet no. 1 “Kreutzer Sonata”
***  
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Piano quintet in f minor op. 34
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Piano quintet in E flat major op. 44
   
   
   
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) String quartet in a minor D. 804 “Rosamunde”
Leos Janácek (1854-1928) String quartet no. 1 “Kreutzer Sonata”
***  
Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) Piano quintet (1976)
   
   
   
With Daniel Ottensamer - clarinet  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) String quartet D 804 “Rosamunde“ or D 112
Leos Janácek (1854-1928) String quartet no. 1 “Kreutzer Sonata” or
Robert Fokkens (*1975) „Glimpses of a half-forgotten future”
***  
Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791) Clarinet quintet in A major K. 581 or
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Clarinet quintet in b minor op. 115
   
   
   
With Nils Moenkemeyer - viola  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Ouverture in c minor D 8 (quintet) or
Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791) String quintet B flat major K. 174
John Dowland (1563-1626) Lachrymae antiquae
Peter Louis van Dijk (*1953) “iinyembezi“
***  
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) String quintet in G major op. 111
   
   
   
With Tanja Tetzlaff or Paul Watkins - violoncello  
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt  
(Only he who knows what yearning is)  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) „Sehnsucht“ D. 656 (Arr. for string quintet)
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Ouverture in c minor D. 8 (quintet)
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Quartet movement in c minor D. 703
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Fragment of a quartet movement D. 3 (Arr. van Dijk)
***  
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) String quintet in C major D. 956 (op. posth.163)

Widmann Cycle

The Signum Quartett offers to perform the complete quartets of Joerg Widmann in one evening. For the Fifth Quartet a soprano will join the ensemble.

Listen to:

Robert Fokkens: "Glimpses of a half-forgotten future"

Youtube


Jörg Widmann: Complete string quartets

Youtube