SOLD OUT - Bennewitz Quartet & Soňa Červená / Yom HaShoah Concert
24. 04. 2017 19:00
Maisel synagogue, Maiselova 10, Praha 1
The programme will feature the melodrama The Lay of Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke by Viktor Ullmann (arr. by Harry Imre Dijkstra) performed by the excellent Czech actress and opera singer Soňa Červená, Five Pieces for String Quartet by Erwin Schulhoff and String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters“, by Leoš Janáček.
Erwin Schulhoff - Five Pieces for String Quartet
1. Alla Valse viennese
2. Alla Serenata
3. Alla Czeca
4. Alla Tango milonga
5. Alla Tarantella
Leoš Janáček - String Quartet No.2 'Intimate Letters'
1. Andande, Con moto
---------------------------- intermission ------------------------------------
Viktor Ullmann - The Lay of Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke/ recitation Soňa Červená
Arr. by Harry Imre Dijkstra
Jakub Fišer - 1st violin
Štěpán Ježek - 2nd violin
Jiří Pinkas - viola
Štěpán Doležal - violoncello
The Bennewitz Quartet is one of the top international chamber ensembles, a status confirmed not only by their victories in two prestigious competitions – Osaka in 2005 and Prémio Paolo Borciani, Italy in 2008, but also by the acclaim of the critics. As early as 2006, the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: "... the music was remarkable not just for its clarity of structure, but for the beautiful tonal palette and purity of intonation in its execution. Only very rarely does one experience such skilfully crafted and powerful harmonies... Great art."
The quartet currently performs at major venues both in the Czech Republic and abroad (Wigmore Hall London, Musikverein Wien, Konzerthaus Berlin, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris, The Frick Collection New York, Seoul Art Center, Rudolfinum and others), and is regularly invited to festivals such as the Salzburger Festspiele, Luzerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, and the Prague Spring.
The Bennewitz Quartet especially enjoys playing and performing on the Czech domestic music scene. Particular highlights have included their cooperation with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and its conductor Jiří Bělohlávek for a performance of Bohuslav Martinů’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra. Last year, they performed with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Czech premiere of the composition Absolute Jest by John Adams. The members of the quartet also use their choice of repertoire and concert programming to actively promote Czech music, including excellent and unjustly neglected composers such as L. Dusík, A. Rejcha, P. Haas, V.Ullmann, E. Schulhoff and others. The Bennewitz Quartet has the privilege of working with the outstanding artists: Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Alexander Melnikov, Vadim Gluzman, Isabel Charisius, Pietro de Maria, Reto Bieri, Danjulo Ishizaka and others.
The fruits of their long-term cooperation with the Coviello Classics label include a recording of Leoš Janáček’s two string quartets and Béla Bartók’s fourth. The critics’ response was very positive. The magazine Fono Forum was impressed by the "fiery temperament". The second recording in the series, released in spring 2010, contains both of Bedřich Smetana’s quartets. The website Klassik.com called it "simply phenomenal". Their next project was a recording of Dvořák’s complete Cypresses cycle, on the Hänssler Classic label and the Dvořák project continued in 2015 when the quartet released the quartets op.51 and op.106 under the SWR Music / Naxos label. The recording became the Choice of the Harmonie magazine and the Editor’s choice.
The Bennewitz Quartet was founded in 1998. Thanks to their participation in various masterclasses, the members have had the opportunity to gain experience and inspiration from numerous eminent musical personalities, most notably Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet) and Walter Levin (La Salle Quartet). In 2003 the Queen of Spain presented them with the diploma for outstanding student performance at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid. A year later, the quartet were awarded the Czech Chamber Music Society prize. The quartet is named after violinist Antonín Bennewitz (1833-1926), who was a seminal figure in the creation of the Czech violin school.
The opera singer and actress Soňa Červená ranks among the most distinguished figures of contemporary Czech culture. She launched her professional career in Prague in music theatre and film. Following her first opera engagement, at the Janáček Opera in Brno, she joined the Staatsoper in Berlin, where two years later she received the honorific title of Kammersängerin for her remarkable performances in Monteverdi, Handel and Gluck operas. After her dramatic escape across the Berlin Wall to Western Europe in 1962, she gained recognition for portraying roles in operas by Bizet, Richard Strauss, Verdi and Wagner. She was subsequently a soloist of opera houses in Vienna, Milan, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Lisbon and all large German stages. She also frequently appeared as a guest on prominent European and American stages and at international festivals (Bayreuth, Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Edinburgh, etc.). She worked at the San Francisco Opera for 11 seasons. Soňa Červená has performed with Rafael Kubelík, Karel Ančerl, Herbert von Karajan, Pierre Boulez, Sir Charles Mackerras and other renowned conductors. As regards concert and opera repertoire, she soon specialised in 20th century works (Mahler, Stravinsky, Janáček, Berg, Ligeti, Nono, Henze). In Frankfurt, she was named Kammersängerin for the second time. She is also known as an exemplary performer of Janáček roles in Czech and a translator of sheet-music editions. After rounding off her operatic career, she worked at the famous Thalia Theater in Hamburg. Soňa Červená has performed in the stage director Robert Wilson’s creations and sung Tom Waits’s and Lou Reed’s music all over the world. After the 1989 revolution, she returned to Prague. She has written two books: her autobiography Stýskání zakázáno (Pining Forbidden) and Můj Václav (My Václav), about her great-grandfather, the brass-instruments inventor Václav František Červený. For the National Theatre in Prague, she created the symbolic figure of Fate in Robert Wilson’s production of Janáček’s eponymous opera, the lead role in Aleš Březina and Jiří Nekvasil’s chamber opera Tomorrow There Will Be… (about the 1950s show trial of the Czech politician Milada Horáková), portrayed Elina Makropulos in Wilson’s production of Čapek’s drama The Makropulos Case and one of the main characters in Březina’s new chamber opera Toufar. She has also performed the role of narrator in melodramas (Ullmann, Bernstein, Suk, Bodorová, Štědroň, Kvěch, Březina, Ivanović).
Entry: 230 CZK