»It’s hard not to fall in love with this quartet«, the New York Times enthuses about the Szymanowski Quartet, which has been based in Hanover for over 20 years. The quartet takes its name from the Polish composer Karol Szymanowski, who is honoured in his native land as a precursor of the modern age. The four musicians have often played together with Michail Lifits. The Uzbekistani pianist relocated to Germany when he was 16, and has since been living in Hanover – how practical! In this session, the cellist Monika Leskovar substitutes for Alexey Stadler.
All five musicians are especially fond of 20th century music, and they are all keen supporters of the works of Eastern European composers. Both these attributes are united in the Polish-Jewish composer Mieczysław Weinberg, who was overshadowed for a long time by his friend and mentor Dmitri Shostakovich. Unjustly so, as the international music scene has recognised in recent years. Weinberg’s music is permeated on the one hand by an immense drive, but on the other it is as fragile as glass, and this also applies to the Piano Quintet, which he wrote during the Second World War.
The Recital Hall of Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle has an intimate atmosphere that makes it a perfect setting for chamber music recitals. Refurbished after the war, it is one of the few remaining concert halls with authentic fifties design, and can seat up to 640 people.
About the series
Artists record exclusive music videos at the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle for Elbphilharmonie Sessions – sometimes in unusual locations offstage. Discover the concert halls from the inside. Discover what they sound like.
Text: Laura Etspüler, Stand: 24.3.2020