Finale - Apollon Musagete Quartet
The 8th Chania Chamber Music Festival concludes in a special way, welcoming the award-winning Polish string quartet Apollo Musagete. Winning the first prize at the ARD competition in 2008 and the nominated 'Rising Stars' for 2010, the quartet pursued a brilliant career playing in Europe's most famous music venues. In Polish Renaissance music by composer Waclaw Szamotul, the quartet's stringed strings substitute human voices, reverently maintaining the sensitivity emanating from the motto In te Domine Speravi. Spirituality and clarity are followed by two romantic works, dating from the first half of the 19th century with a clear focus on man and his mortal passions. In R. Schumann's 1st quartet, endless melodies and passion highlight the composer's conscious shift in the field of chamber music. The festival closes with the so-called 'Rosamunde' quartet by F. Schubert. Here, the composer's suffering through the years of his final illness is mirrored by sadness and a hauntingly melancholy. Despite that, some glimmers of hope and light lift the veil of depression showing the human struggle for life.
Wacław z Szamotuł - In te Domine Speravi
Robert Schumann - String Quartet No.1 op.41
Franz Schubert - String Quartet No.13 "Rosamunde" D.804
Wacław z Szamotuł
In te Domine Speravi
Wacław z Szamotuł is one of the greatest representatives of Renaissance music in Poland and the first Polish artist whose works were printed abroad. He was a student at the Lubrański Academy in Poznań later studying at Kraków University in 1538. He received the title of "royal composer" and created religious (catholic) music for Latin texts, referring in the style to the Franco-Flemish polyphony. Among the few works that survived, Motet 'In te domine speravi' (1554) is a typical example of his style. It was published in Nuremberg, along with another motet and a cycle of lamentations. These works prove the artistry of Wacław, who in these four-part compositions shows great melodic inventiveness and efficiency in the use of a complicated counterpoint. He died early and In the words of Szymon Starowolski, who wrote the first concise biography of Wacław, "If the gods had let him live longer, the Poles would have no need to envy the Italians their Palestrina, Lappi or Vedana."
String Quartet No.1 op.41
1842 was the year of chamber music for Robert Schumann and he commenced his remarkable instrumental explorations with the three string quartets eventually published together as Opus 41. For many years it was customary to dismiss these three works as unidiomatic and overly-pianistic. While it is true that the pianistic figurations and general lack of independence between the voices are present, their total lack of dependence on the dry clichés of the mid-19th century and their intensely expressive musical poetry compensate for such flaws as would be insurmountable in the music of a lesser composer. The Quartet in A minor, Op.41, No.1 was actually the last of the group to be finished, though there is good evidence that Schumann worked on all three more or less simultaneously. Schumann, however, clearly conceived of the three as a single large-scale composition, and the tonal organization of A minor-F major-A major circumscribed by the three quartets is a very balanced and logical one. Hence, the eventual ordering of the piece. In addition, Op.41, No.1 has a sizeable, dramatic introduction to recommend it as the opening work of a cycle.
I. Andante espressivo — Allegro
II. Scherzo: Presto
String Quartet No.13 "Rosamunde" D.804
Sometimes referred to as the Rosamunde Quartet because of the second movement theme from the composer's failed stage work of the same name, this A minor work was the only one of his string quartets to be published in his lifetime. Ill and miserable with syphilis, Schubert in 1824 made the acquaintance of the renowned violinist and quartet leader Ignaz Schuppanzigh. During their times together, Schubert resolved to return to the medium of the string quartet, which he had abjured for several years. The result was a lyrical and introspective work, almost solemn, dedicated to Schuppanzigh and premiered by him on March 14 of that year. The mood of tragedy, depression and despair that hangs over the first three movements is surely a reflection of Schubert's dismal life at the time of composition. Although the general feeling of despondency and grief are not completely dispelled, the ending of the work conveys at least a suggestion of hope for the future.
I. Allegro ma non troppo
III. Menuetto: Allegretto – Trio
IV. Allegro moderato