“They could be grounded in their tone or mystical. They allowed time to stand still, and they could assume the pose of excitingly aggressive rockers. They did it all,” says The Los Angeles Times of the Danish String Quartet. The Quartet continues the 2022 Robert Mann Chamber Series with an unusual and delightful choice: a collection of folk music, a rare treat to experience with a classical string ensemble. The program begins with Purcell’s pure Chaconne and ends with Schubert’s lauded “Death and the Maiden,” a chamber masterpiece which struggles with dark visions of the beyond and concludes with a frantic, unforgettable tarantella.
Danish String Quartet
Purcell, Chacony in G Minor for string quartet (arr. Benjamin Britten)
Folk Music from the British Isles (arr. Danish String Quartet)
Schubert, String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor (“Death and the Maiden”)
- “Here’s a simpler story of the [Danish String Quartet]: We are three Danes and one Norwegian cellist, making this a truly Scandinavian endeavor. Being relatively bearded, we are often compared to the Vikings. However, we are only pillaging the English coastline occasionally.” Read their full bio or watch their Tiny Desk Concert on NPR
- As is not uncommon in composition, Schubert borrowed some of his own previously-written material for his String Quartet No. 14. In this case, the theme of the quartet’s second movement in particular is inspired by Schubert’s song (“Lied”) of the same title, which is itself based on a poem. Read the lyrics
- “Mr. Mann — for decades the [Juilliard String Quartet]’s de facto spokesman, institutional memory and ‘resident spark plug,’ as The Chicago Tribune called him in 1997 — remained with the ensemble for 51 years. By the time he retired in 1997 he had outlasted the entire original lineup, as well several subsequent permutations, to become one of the longest-serving members of any chamber group in the world.” Read more of the New York Times’ obituary for Robert Mann, for whom our chamber series is named