New Orford String Quartet
Haydn: String Quartet No. 34 in D Major, Op. 20 No. 4, H.III:34
Christos Hatzis: String Quartet No. 5 “The Transforming”
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3 “Razumovsky”
This world-class ensemble celebrates its tenth anniversary with a remarkable and far-reaching program. It opens with a quartet by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, the first master of this challenging musical medium. He composed it in 1772 for the Esterházy family, who were his employers and fabulously wealthy Hungarian nobles. Regarding the six quartets that make Haydn’s Op. 20, the eminent Scottish musicologist Sir Donald Tovey wrote, “There is perhaps no single or sextuple opus in the history of instrumental music which has achieved so much or achieved it so quietly.” The third movement is a zesty minuet in the Gypsy/Romani style that was enormously popular at the time. This work is followed by the world premiere of a new piece by widely-acclaimed, Greek-born Canadian composer Christos Hatzis. Rounding out the bill is the last of the three string quartets that Count Razumovsky, the Russian ambassador in Vienna, commissioned from Beethoven in 1806. All three of them marked a significant advance on the style of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven’s previous quartets. Early audiences found them challenging, but with time the “Razumovsky” quartets came to be recognized as visionary masterworks.