London, November 5, 2014
Dvořák Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Op. 81
Smetana String Quartet No. 2 in D minor
Vsevolod Dvorkin piano
Illustrated talk by Iain Burnside
Pre-concert talk by Patrick Bade
Smetana gave voice to the desire for independence of his fellow Czechs, so long yoked under the Habsburg Empire. His quartets, however, are a world away from his triumphantly nationalist operas and tone poems: in them we encounter the fevered imagination of an artist fighting for his sanity. Smetana’s example inspired his compatriot Dvořák to bring Bohemian and Moravian elements into his own warmly vivacious chamber music, creating an outpouring of dance and song. In this concert, broadcaster and pianist Iain Burnside looks at the emergence of a new nationalist identity in the rising city of Prague as it cast off its Germanic traits, and, together with Vsevolod Dvorkin and the Zemlinsky Quartet, explores the light and dark sides of two great Romantic composers.
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‘The whole new way of experiencing music ... perfectly created atmosphere.’
‘It was an utterly amazing experience! I enjoyed every moment of the concert.’
‘We enjoyed the concert enormously, both the performances and the very informative talks.
It was a most stimulating evening.’
‘I listened to beautiful music and I learned - what more could you ask from an evening?
Really, it was very special.’
‘Congratulations on the great success of last night’s debut of the Aspect Foundation in NY. Lovely venue, terrific crowd, and lots of wonderful energy.’
‘What a beautiful evening it was! Thank you very much! I don’t think I’ve ever been to an event like this.’