june, 2020

07jun4:00 pm6:00 pmM's Crystal Chamber Music Concert


Event Details

Where: Glam, 7/F, No.5 The Bund, 20 Guangdong Lu, Shanghai
When: 4pm, Sunday, 7th June
Tickets: Adult 150RMB, students 85RMB

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The Appasssionato Quartet plays Schubert and Haydn

In our June 7, 2020 concert at Glam we are privileged to hear the Appassionato Quartet made up of four young string instrument stars from the neighboring Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra.  The four bring with them highly varied backgrounds having studied not only in China but also in Germany, America and the UK.  With their now well melded talents the Appassionato Quartet is going to give us a wonderful program of music of Joseph Haydn (natch!) from later in his life and a quartet from a very young 16 year-old Franz Schubert.  Our young musicians will be: Zhu Jiahui, first violin;  Zeng Yang, second violin; Chen Xi, viola; and Liu Yang, Cello.

Franz Schubert wrote his 10th string quartet in E-flat major when he was 16 years old.  His quartets at that time were not really meant for publication but rather for playing at home with his family of amateur musicians.  There is a certain simplicity to this music reflected for example by all the movement being in the same key of E-flat for example.  Typically composers tend to change the keys from movement to movement to vary the color of the music.  But despite this quartet’s outward simplicity, the full young genius of Schubert is clearly present as you will hear.  In influence of Haydn and even of Mozart is evident in the music.  But Schubert’s predilection from melody over shorter motifs is also making an early appearance.  The windows onto the genius of the man who will become one of the most human of all composers open for us in the wonderful quartet.

Joseph Haydn is of course known for the irrepressible, good nature of his music.  However he did include at least one minor key quartet in each of his sets of six quartets.  Opus 76 is Haydn’s last set of six quartets and the d-minor second quartet of the set, nicknamed the Quinten for his use of the interval of the fifth, is one of his most powerful dramatic utterances for string quartet.  The ghost of Bach hovers over this piece as well as the awaiting genius of Beethoven.  In the dramatic first movement we can hear shades of Bach in the rigorous counterpart writing, the interweaving of strands of themes against each other.  The proto-Beethoven is clear in how Haydn practically builds the whole movement out of the two descending intervals of a fifth and rearranges those again and again to create a kind of architectural structure anticipating works like Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. 

On the 7th we will discuss and hear all the movements of these delightful quartets.  It is not essential, but as always I recommend a little pre-listening, even as just some background music as you go about doing other things.  That way when you hear this music at the concert you have had a little head start and the music will already sound a bit familiar to you. 

For listening I recommend:

Schubert String Quartet in E-flat major number 10:


The Melos Quartet


Haydn String Quartet in d-minor opus 76, number 2


The Cleveland Quartet


I look forward to seeing you on June 7th at 4pm at Glam!

Bob Martin


(Sunday) 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm



No.5 The Bund (corner of Guangdong Lu)