Soon after it was founded, the Philharmonia Quartet established itself as one of the world’s best string quartets and repeatedly set new standards in renowned concert series and international festivals. This is no surprise, given that the musicians, as members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, are a perfectly well-rehearsed team not only in the field of chamber music: “You do not have to be an orchestral musician to become an outstanding quartet player, but our great advantage is that we work with outstanding conductors and soloists, so we get to know their interpretive approaches and incorporate them into our quartet work” (violist Neithard Resa).
Due to illness, second violinist Christian Stadelmann is no longer able to participate, so the members of the ensemble have changed the concert’s programme. It now opens with Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Trio in G major op. 9 No. 1, whose “majestic greatness” was attested to by Paul Bekker: the powerful unison at the beginning suggests an unfamiliar tone for the genre which takes on a truly “symphonic” character. After Franz Schubert’s string trio movement in B flat major D 471, whose charm is reminiscent of Mozart’s works, the concert concludes with the latter’s Divertimento in E flat major KV 563 – an intoxicating work in which Mozart exhausted all the possibilities of the line-up with breathtaking security in which soprano, alto and bass face each other without the mediation of a compensating “filling” part.