Beethoven: Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
Kurtág: Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 44
Beethoven: Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131
Making their sixth consecutive annual visit to the Chamber Music Society of Detroit and their first CMSD appearance on the Village Theater series, the Juilliard String Quartet brings to the stage a tradition of chamber music excellence stretching as far back as the CMSD itself. Founded in 1946, this great ensemble has constantly reinvented itself, an evolutionary process that has refined the very definition of American chamber music, in their own performances and through their mentoring of generations of young musicians.
The centerpiece of their program, Beethoven’s masterful Quartet in C-sharp minor, was regarded by the composer as the favorite of all his quartets. In contrast to the geniality of the early Op. 18 F major Quartet, Op. 131’s poignant opening fugue, in the words of Richard Wagner, "reveals the most melancholy sentiment expressed in music," and music historian Joseph Kerman calls it "this most moving of all fugues.” Sandwiched between the two Beethoven works is a set of six short pieces by Hungarian composer György Kurtág, one of the most important avant-garde composers of the second half of the 20th century.