A Selection of Compositions by the Greats of German Romanticism for Strings
For many decades, Mendelssohn’s string quartets remained in the shadows of those of Beethoven and Schubert. They are thankfully now being given the prominence they deserve as musicians connect with their often tumultuous passions. Perhaps the most intellectually astute of the German Romantics, no other composer was as masterful in drawing together all the strands of his culture’s past and present. Mendelssohn revolutionised the art of conducting, rescued Bach’s St Matthew Passion from public oblivion and also, somehow, found time in his short life to leave a treasure trove of masterpieces, including his String Quartet no. 2 in A minor, based on his own song Is it true? (Ist es wahr?)
Its perfect companion piece is the Brahms String Sextet no. 2 in G. Composed during a visit to Clara Schumann, the thirty-one year old Brahms had just entered his maturity as a composer and was at the height of his supreme melodic powers. Both sextets are feasts of glorious melody, but no. 2 is the more mysterious of the pair, a musical diary of the composer’s innermost thoughts, clothed in the rich textures that only Brahms could create. One generation of great Australian artists leads the next as esteemed members of ANAM’s faculty Robin Wilson (violin), Caroline Henbest (viola) and Howard Penny (cello) perform with the next generation of great home-grown talent.
MENDELSSOHN String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13
BRAHMS String Sextet No. 2 n G, op.36
Robin Wilson, violin
Caroline Henbest, viola
Howard Penny, cello
The Australian National Academy of Music has for over 20 years nurtured the skills and shaped the musical imaginations of the country’s most outstanding young musicians. Many of the instrumentalists who have spent time at the Academy’s home in the South Melbourne Town Hall have been recipients of major national and international prizes and awards, and occupy leading positions in ensembles and orchestras in Australia and abroad.
This performance is enabled through the generosity of the Yarranabbe Foundation.