In 1969, a group of young stars took the stage together in the recently opened Queen Elizabeth Hall to perform a much-loved piece for strings and piano. Their collaboration was filmed by Christopher Nupen for what was soon recognised as a landmark documentary.
These performers – pianist Daniel Barenboim, cellist Jacqueline du Pré, violinist Itzhak Perlman, violist Pinchas Zukerman and Zubin Mehta on double bass – were to become known as some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.
Now Benjamin Grosvenor and his friends unite for a contemporary presentation of this piece with a powerful history, alongside Bartók's Rhapsody No.1 for violin & piano, Brahms' romantic Piano Quartet and Schubert's sublime Notturno.
Grosvenor has been performing at Southbank Centre since 2012, when he was 20 years old. He is joined for this concert by the Korean violinist Hyeyoon Park, violist Timothy Ridout who replaces Brett Dean at short notice, Kian Soltani, who is principal cellist with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and double bassist Leon Bosch.
The evening is centred on two pieces performed this evening were both written when their composers were barely out of their teens – Brahms wrote his First Piano Quartet at 23, and Schubert his Trout Quintet at 22. Each features a lively ‘gipsy-style’ finale infused with folk idioms.
The second movement of Brahms’ Piano Quartet is said to make reference to the composer’s love for his friend Robert Schumann’s wife, Clara, by adopting the ‘Clara’ melody that appears in Schumann’s music. In the Quartet’s 1861 premiere, she performed the piano part.
Schubert’s Trout Quintet is an ideal introduction to the Romantic composer’s melodious oeuvre. It was the result of a commission to write a piece of chamber music based on his song Die Forelle – The Trout, which was an instant hit with contemporary audiences. Variations on the rippling music of the lied can be heard in the Quintet’s fourth movement.
In contrast to the Trout Quintet, Schubert's late Notturno Piano Trio was one of the final pieces the composer completed, and was published posthumously two decades after his death.
PerformersBenjamin Grosvenor piano
RepertoireBrahms: Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, Op.25
Please note change of artist* and programme**
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