Title - 'Mozart: Piano Quartets'
Artist - Daniel Barenboim
For those not in the classical know, Daniel Barenboim is is a pianist and conductor who is a citizen of Argentina, Israel, Palestine, and Spain.
The current general music director of the Berlin State Opera and the Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim previously served as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and La Scala in Milan.
Barenboim is known for his work with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, a Seville-based orchestra of young Arab and Israeli musicians, and as a resolute critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Barenboim has received many awards and prizes, including seven Grammy awards, an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, France's Légion d'honneur both as a Commander and Grand Officier, and the German Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz and Willy Brandt Award.
Together with the Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said, he was given Spain's Prince of Asturias Concord Award. Barenboim is a polyglot, fluent in Spanish, Hebrew, English, French, Italian, and German.
Four outstanding musicians recently joined forces in Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal to record Mozart: Piano Quartets (Nos.1 and 2) and yes, of course, the aforementioned Daniel Barenboim was one of them.
The live album, set for release by Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music Canada on August 10th, 2018, features the unique talents of two of the label’s exclusive artists – Barenboim and cellist Kian Soltani – as well as those of violinist Michael Barenboim (his son) and viola-player Yulia Deyneka.
Together the four musicians explore this pair of masterpieces from Mozart’s chamber repertoire, focusing on the conversational aspect of the music and creating performances brimming with excitement and vibrancy.
1 - 3 Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello
No 1 in G minor K 478
4 - 6 Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello
No 2 in E flat major K 493
Aside from the wealth of knowledge to be found and adored about his father, violinist Michael Barenboim is one of the most versatile and talented artists of his generation. Having performed with some of the world's most prestigious orchestras and conductors; including the Wiener Philharmoniker, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Pierre Boulez and Münchner Philharmoniker conducted by the late Lorin Maazel.
Cellist Kian Soltani made his international breakthrough at the age of nineteen with acclaimed debuts in the Vienna Musikverein’s Goldener Saal and at the Hohenems Schubertiade.
He attracted further worldwide attention in April 2013 as winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki where he was hailed by Ostinato magazine as “a soloist of the highest level among the new generation of cellists”.
Having worked with him before, in the summer of 2015, he joined Daniel Barenboim as one of the soloists in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, performing the work during the West Eastern Divan Orchestra’s Waldbühnenkonzert in Berlin, at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals, at the BBC Proms in London, and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Rounding out the new quartet is viola-player Yulia Deyneka. A versatile musician with tenure as a professor at the Barenboim-Said Academy and principal viola of the Berlin Staatskapelle, she is frequently heard as a soloist with various orchestras, most recently in Schnittke’s Viola Concerto under the direction of Andris Nelsons and alongside Wolfram Brandl in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante under Daniel Barenboim.
For more than ten years, she has been involved with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, whose viola section was under her tutelage. Since the autumn of 2016, Yulia Deyneka is a fixed member of the Boulez Ensemble, which is resident in the newly built Pierre Boulez Hall in Berlin.
Of all the many treasures to be found in Mozart’s catalogue, his chamber works are particular gems. This is especially true of his two piano quartets – No.1 in G minor, K478 and No.2 in E flat major, K493 – which he composed between 1785 and 1786, essentially creating an entirely new genre in the process.
As a pianist, Barenboim has been engaging with the composer’s idiom since childhood, and it was with Mozart that he made his conducting debut in London. Now his latest release reveals his mature interpretations of these two masterpieces in live recordings that capture all the subtlety and dynamism of his pianism.
The four players on this new recording bring the many different facets of K478 and K493 to life with enthusiasm and virtuosity. Their ensemble playing demonstrates both the sheer joy involved in performing, and the humility required on each player’s part, giving an insight into the intense and movingly intimate way in which the quartet approach Mozart’s chamber creations.
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