Mendelssohn and Brahms (Sydney)

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Beyond the Town Hall
ANAM Faculty and musicians tour to Sydney

For many decades, Mendelssohn’s string quartets remained in the shadows of those of Beethoven and Schubert. They are thankfully now being given the prominence they deserve as musicians connect with their often tumultuous passions. Perhaps the most intellectually astute of the German Romantics, no other composer was as masterful in drawing together all the strands of his culture’s past and present. In his short life, Mendelssohn left us with a treasure trove of masterpieces, including his String Quartet no. 2 in A minor, based on his own song Is it true? (Ist es wahr?)

Its perfect companion piece is the Brahms String Sextet no. 2 in G. Composed during a visit to Clara Schumann, the 31 year old Brahms had just entered his maturity as a composer and was at the height of his supreme melodic powers. Both sextets are feasts of glorious melody, but no. 2 is the more mysterious of the pair, a musical diary of the composer’s innermost thoughts, clothed in the rich textures that only Brahms could create. 

MENDELSSOHN String Quartet no. 2 in A minor op. 13
BRAHMS Sextet for strings in G major op. 36

Robin Wilson violin
Caroline Henbest viola
Howard Penny cello
ANAM Musicians

Presented in partnership with the Sydney Opera House

Photo by Pia Johnson (with design by Studio Brave)

 

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