Sunday, November 11, 2018
Faith United Church of Christ
- Schubert String Quartet No. 6 in D Major, D. 74
- Hindemith Quartet No. 6 in E-flat Major (1943)
- Brahms Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 51, No. 1
The Schumann Quartet boasts of a strong bond among its members—three German brothers and a violist from Estonia. This musical connection partly derives from but significantly exceeds even their close family ties and leads them to a “spiritual metamorphosis” in the “absolute Now” of a performance. Make no mistake; the Schumanns mean to draw the audience into active participation with that “absolute Now.” Anyone present at the group’s CMSOB concert last season can attest to the power of the individual members, trusting in each other, to “communicate with [the audience] in music.” The audience, for its part, is challenged by the group to “be prepared for all eventualities” as the quartet defies expectations (limitations, really) of sound, approach, or style.
The quartet’s eclecticism grows out of influences clearly identified in its latest recording, Landscapes (2017), which features works by Haydn, Bartók, Takemitsu, and Pärt. The album won an Annual Award of German Record Critics, received 5 Diapasons, and was an Editor’s Choice selection of BBC Music Magazine. Its title refers to the Takemitsu piece, “Landscape I,” which creates a musical vision of Japan, homeland of the mother of the three Schumann brothers, who speak fluent Japanese.