Adagio e Rondo concertante in F major
Piano Quartet in C minor
Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor
When you hear the name of Berlin’s Gililov Quartet, don’t imagine a classical string quartet. These four musicians – violinist Christoph Schickedanz, Philharmonic violist Rainer Mehne, cellist Markus Nyikos and pianist Pavel Gililov – are dedicated to the comparatively uncommon genre of the piano quartet. The combined effect of keyboard and strings enables the piano quartet to move beyond the intimacy of chamber music to approach symphonic dimensions – an appealing scoring that has inspired nearly every great composer since the age of Viennese Classicism.
The medium’s potential for varied aesthetic approaches is demonstrated in this programme by the Gililov Quartet, which developed from the Philharmonic Piano Quartet. The Adagio and Rondo Concertante in F major that Franz Schubert composed in 1816 for the brother of his early love Therese Grob is a miniature piano concerto. The solo piano part dominates, while the string parts serve almost exclusively as accompaniment.
Gabriel Fauré, on the other hand, achieves a refined balance between strings and piano in his First Piano Quartet op. 13. Apart from the wistful slow movement, the work is largely sunny and buoyant, in spite of the C minor home key. The Opus 13 of Richard Strauss is also in C minor. Expressive, emphatic and intimate at once, it readily reveals the 20-year-old composer’s model: Johannes Brahms, whose three piano quartets form the genre’s keystone.