MOZART Piano Quartet No.2 in Eb major
BRAHMS Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor
Martin Roscoe – piano
Lucy Baker – violin
Steven Burnard – viola
Jessica Burroughs – cello
Martin Roscoe and the Moricosta String Trio present a programme of vastly different works, each of which are groundbreaking for their time.
Hoffmeister originally commissioned Mozart to write a set of three piano quartets, but Mozart’s second piano quartet nearly didn’t get written. The first was considered to be so radical, that Hoffmeister cancelled the commission for the rest of the set. Fortunately in 1786 Mozart wrote the second one anyway so we also have the E flat piano quartet to enjoy.
The Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks trained as a violinist and bassist before moving onto composition. Repressed during the Soviet period due to his beliefs and artistic leanings, his reputation finally spread outside Latvia when Gidon Kremer began championing his works in the 1990s. His piano quartet was completed in 2001. Influenced by the groundbreaking work of Lutosławski, Penderecki and George Crumb, Vasks introduces Latvian folklore elements and uses them to express his feelings about the destruction of the world and the beauty of life.
The first piano quartet by Brahms was premiered in 1862 with Clara Schumann at the piano. At the time the piano quartet was still considered an unusual combination, and Brahms frequently relied on Clara Schumann for artistic guidance. The quirky “gypsy finale” impressed both the violinist Joseph Joachim, as well as Arnold Schoenberg, who later arranged the quartet for full orchestra. This is a work of symphonic proportions, complex structure and ample opportunity for dazzling virtuosity!