Chamber Music

Classical music encounters jazz

The Athenaeum Quartet, made up of Philharmonic string players, is always good for a surprise with their unusual programmes: this time, the motto is “classical music encounters jazz”. The works played include jazz classics by Duke Ellington, as well as pieces by Friedrich Gulda, Milan Svoboda and Jacques Loussier, three border crossers between jazz and classical music.

Athenäum Quartett:

Laurentius Dinca Solo Violin

Stephan Schulze Violin

Walter Küssner Viola

Christoph Igelbrink Cello

Christoph von der Nahmer Violin

Torsten Puls Bass Guitar

Stanisław Pajak Double Bas

Igor Cognolato Piano

Jan Schlichte Drums

Rainer Seegers Timpani

Duke Ellington

Fantasy, 4 Songs arranged for string quartet by Paul Chihara

Friedrich Gulda

Wings for solo violin, percussion, timpani, bass guitar and string quartet

Milan Svoboda

Concerto grosso for violin, piano and string quartet

Jacques Loussier

Konzert Nr. 1 Concerto No. 1 for solo violin, percussion and string quintet

Dates and Tickets

Programme

The Athenaeum Quartet, made up of Philharmonic string players, is always good for a surprise with their unusual programmes: whether it’s Nordic tango or Viennese waltzes, the ensemble knows how to arouse their audience’s curiosity and enthusiasm with unknown works and unconventional arrangements. This time the motto is “classical music encounters jazz”. The evening will begin with a jazz classic: Duke Ellington. In his series of songs in the form of a suite, Fantasy for string quartet, the American composer Paul Chihara arranged four of Ellington’s jazz standards, including Sophisticated Lady and Mood Indigo, in a witty, swinging and stirring fashion.

The other works on the programme are by composers who are often styled border crossers between jazz and classical music. With Wings, Friedrich Gulda composed a violin concerto that contains not only typical jazz harmonies, but also room for improvisation. The Czech bandleader and pianist Milan Svoboda combines the Baroque form of the concerto grosso with jazz elements in his work. And the Frenchman Jacques Loussier, “inventor” of the famous Play Bach, also shows how fertile engaging with the various musical worlds can be in his concerto for solo violin, percussion and string quintet.

To perform the latter three compositions, the Athenaeum Quartet will be supported by Philharmonic colleagues – bass Stanisław Pajak, violinist Christoph von der Nahmer and percussionists Simon Rössler and Rainer Seegers, as well as bass guitarist Torsten Puls and pianist Igor Cognalato. The first violin of the quartet, Laurentius Dinca, will play solo violin.

(c) A. Coppone