Chiaroscuro Quartet

Haydn, Mendelssohn and Purcell

Purcell’s fifteen Fantazias only survive as a manuscript which is in the British Museum. Purcell was only 21 when he wrote them in June 1680; the young composer did not even attempt to have them published – in fact, they were not published until 1927. Like Purcell, Mendelssohn was very young when he wrote his Op. 12 – he was still only 20, and this was his first published string quartet.

Formed in 2005, Chiaroscuro Quartet comprises violinists Alina Ibragimova (Russia) and Pablo Hernán Benedí (Spain), the Swedish violist Emilie Hörnlund and cellist Claire Thirion from France. Dubbed ‘a trailblazer for the authentic performance of High Classical chamber music’ in Gramophone, this international ensemble performs music of the Classical and early Romantic periods on gut strings and with historical bows. The quartet’s unique sound – described in The Observer as ‘a shock to the ears of the best kind’ – is highly acclaimed by audiences and critics all over Europe.

Their growing discography includes recordings of music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Haydn. Chiaroscuro Quartet was a prize-winner of the German Förderpreis Deutschlandfunk/Musikfest Bremen in 2013 and received Germany’s most prestigious CD award, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2015 for their recording of Mozart’s Quartet in D minor, K. 421 and Mendelssohn’s Second String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13. Among the ensemble’s chamber music partners are renowned artists such as Kristian Bezuidenhout, Trevor Pinnock, Jonathan Cohen, Nicolas Baldeyrou, Chen Halevi, Malcolm Bilson and Christophe Coin.

Recent engagements included their enthusiastically received debut concerts at Vienna Konzerthaus and Philharmonie Warsaw. In April 2016, the quartet embarked on its first tour to Japan playing concerts in Tokyo and Hyogo. Other highlights have taken the ensemble to the Edinburgh International Festival, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, London’s Wigmore Hall, Auditorio Nacional de Música Madrid, Music Festival Grafenegg, The Sage Gateshead (recorded for BBC Radio 3), Auditorium du Louvre Paris, Théâtre du Jeu-de-Paume in Aix-en-Provence, Grand Théâtre de Dijon, Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon, West Cork Festival and for a residency to Aldeburgh.

Since 2009, Chiaroscuro Quartet has been artist-in-residence in Port-Royal-des-Champs giving a concert series dedicated to Mozart’s string quartets.

Henry Purcell (c.1659-1695) Fantasia a 4 No. 7 in C minor Z738
Fantasia a 4 No. 11 in G Z742
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) String Quartet in B minor Op. 33 No. 1
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) String Quartet in E flat Op. 12

Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm (BST)
This concert will be available on demand for 30 days after the date of the concert.

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