London, November 5, 2014

Dvořák Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Op. 81

Smetana String Quartet No. 2 in D minor


Zemlinsky Quartet

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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