New 3-Disc Recording on Deutsche Grammophon Features Premiere Recordings by the Quartet, Available April 13, 2010
With over three decades of performing together and over 30 recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, the Emerson String Quartet seems to have touched all corners of the quartet repertoire. For their latest project the quartet has turned their attention to the works of Antonín Dvořák on this substantial, 3-Disc all-new recording which will be released on Deutsche Grammophon on April 13, 2010. This new recording complements Adventures in Bohemia, a three-concert series at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on May 9, 16 and 19, 2010. The Emerson additionally previews its Lincoln Center engagements with a live NPR and WQXR audio webcast from New York’s Le Poisson Rouge on Monday, April 26, at 8pm EDT.
Throughout his career Dvořák composed numerous string quartets and other chamber music. He was himself a violist and occasional participant in quartet parties, thus giving him intimate insight to the genre. To give perspective on Dvořák’s output, the Emerson has chosen to record and release over three hours of his chamber music including four string quartets, a string quintet and Cypresses for string quartet. Dating from prior to his trip to America and ending with the year after his return to Prague, these works trace Dvořák’s compositional development in classical forms, use of Slavonic themes and incorporation of American colors.
Adventures in Bohemia is comprised of three programs—“The Folk Music,” “The Late Quartets” and “From the New World”—each reflecting on a different facet of Czech music’s rising prominence in the 19th- and 20th-centuries. In addition to Dvořák’s most important string quartets—including the 12-movement suite Cypresses distributed across the three concerts—the Emerson welcomes pianist Jeffrey Kahane on May 9 to perform the composer’s Piano Quintet in A major, and violist Paul Neubauer on May 19 for the Quintet in E-flat major “American.” Janáček’s String Quartets No. 1 “after Leo Tolstoy: The Kreutzer Sonata” and No. 2 “Intimate Letters,” along with Martinů’s “Three Madrigals” for violin and viola, further exhibit the rich musical heritage developing in the region during these artists’ lifetimes. The Janáček and Martinů works were recently recorded by the Emerson on their previous release, Intimate Letters which won the Grammy award for Best Chamber Music Performance earlier this year.
To preview Lincoln Center’s Adventures in Bohemia series, NPR and New York's Classical 105.9 WQXR present a live audio webcast of the Emerson String Quartet performing at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday, April 26. The webcast will be available at www.npr.org/music and www.wqxr.org. Emceed by WQXR host Terrance McKnight, the event samples an array of the quartet's large-scale recording projects.