Quartet and Quintet by Grieg and Brahms
Catherine Soris Orban
String Quartet No. 1 in G minor Op. 27
Clarinet Quintet in B minor Op. 115
Without being real friends, Brahms and Grieg knew and respected each other. They even spent New Year's Eve 1888 together in Tchaikovsky's company and saw each other frequently when Grieg came to Vienna. It is therefore legitimate that the two composers meet for our concert. Grieg wrote his Quartet in G minor under great strain, aware that he was tackling a form for which he was not immediately prepared. Like Verdi a few years earlier, he considered this quartet as an essay. It was nonetheless very successful and made a great impression on the young Debussy who composed his own quartet in the same key. Brahms's Clarinet Quintet in B minor, which will be played by our artist in residence Martin Fröst, is one of the last fruits of Brahms' autumn during which he wrote several masterpieces for the clarinet, of which he had just discovered the wonderfully expressive possibilities. The work is enveloped in a sweet nostalgic melancholy but with the warmth that is the mark of Brahms' temperament.