The Jerusalem Quartet, firmly established as one of the top international chamber ensembles, returns to Duke Performances with a program of masterpieces spanning three centuries. The Jerusalem, which has performed nearly all of the essential quartet repertoire in nearly all of the world’s musical capitals, has recently recorded great but little-known music by Jewish composers of inter-war Central Europe.
Haydn’s “Fifths” Quartet — so called because of its opening violin motif — is a dazzling vehicle for the Jerusalem to display its flash and intriguing charm. The Jerusalem’s recording of Shostakovich quartets earned the ensemble declaration by Gramophone as “one of the most technically assured and tonally responsive quartets.” The composer’s Ninth Quartet offers the emotional extremes to verify that praise in live performance. Brahms’ first string quartet, an essay keenly aware of the burden of the form’s splendid past and the artistic demands of its present, brings the evening to a satisfying closure.
Haydn: Quartet in D Minor, op. 76, no. 2 (“Fifths”)
Shostakovich: Quartet No. 9 in E-flat Major, op. 117
Brahms: Quartet in C Minor, op. 51, no. 1