String Quartet in E flat major K. 428
String Quartet No. 4 Sz 91
String Quartet No. 3 in A major
An insiders’ tip soon after their founding in 1999, the French Quatuor Ebène has long since made a name for themselves as one of the most distinctive string quartets of our time. The four spirited musicians’ uncanny mutability and stylistic assurance – every once in a while they conclude their concerts with an encore sung a cappella – have both audience and press in raptures in equal measure. For their concert in the Berliner Philharmonie the ensemble – honoured with a number of renowned prizes – has selected three jewels of the string quartet repertoire. The centre of the programme is Béla Bartók’s Fourth String Quartet, composed in 1928, in which the composer experimented with playing techniques known until then only in folk music and jazz. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s String Quartet K. 428, on the other hand, constitutes an examination of the compositional accomplishments of his time as one of the six string quartets published in print in 1785 that Mozart dedicated to Joseph Haydn, whom he revered for his “completely new special way” of composing. The official part of the concert concludes with a performance of Robert Schumann’s string quartet No. 3 in A major from 1842 And then it remains to be seen what encores the Quatuor Ebène will surprise its Berlin audience with this time.