AUSTRALIAN STRING QUARTET

Friday 4 February 2022  |  11AM


‘Each note is a picture, a fragrance… There are notes that laugh and kiss and sigh and melt together. And notes that weep and rage and fly apart like shattered crystal.’

Helen Keller

When the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 1 was performed for Helen Keller, she immediately sensed the musical vibrations and was moved to tears. Along with this famous Andante cantabile founded on a folk song Tchaikovsky first heard whistled by a house painter, the quartet features moments of exuberance and drama, finishing with a neoclassical homage to his musical idol, Mozart. Although the composer is best known for works involving large ensembles, this first quartet – his first published work of chamber music – has deservedly gained a reputation as one of the great string quartets of the nineteenth century.

Alongside the Tchaikovsky, the Australian String Quartet’s first morning concert at UKARIA for 2022 opens with Benjamin Britten’s Three Divertimenti. At times reflective and at times brooding, this sharp, brilliant set of three short character pieces showcases a breadth of musical tone and texture from the Quartet.

Following the Britten will be another set of short pieces from three contemporary Australian composers—Holly Harrison, Harry Sdraulig and Alice Chance. Each miniature captures the essence of its title—swooping, swirling and nose-scrunching—interpreted through the many playful, colourful and nuanced possibilities of the string quartet medium. These works were proudly commissioned as part of the ASQ Encore Project in 2020.


Dale Barltrop | Violin
Francesca Hiew | Violin
Christopher Cartlidge | Viola
Michael Dahlenburg | Cello


PROGRAM

Benjamin Britten (1913—1976)
Three Divertimenti


Three Australian Miniatures *
Holly Harrison, Swoop
Harry Sdraulig, Swirl
Alice Chance, Nose-scrunch Reel


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
 (1840–1893)
String Quartet No. 1 in D, Op. 11 No.1

I. Moderato e semplice 
II. Andante cantabile
III. Scherzo. Allegro non tanto e con fuoco – Trio
IV. Finale. Allegro giusto – Allegro vivace (D major)

* Commissioned as part of ASQ Encore by the Australian String Quartet with generous funds received from private donors, The Robert Salzer Foundation, and Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund.


    Duration
    | Approximately one hour without interval.
    Note | Complimentary morning tea will be provided as takeaway after the performance.


    Photo Credit

    Australian String Quartet: Jacqui Way

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