»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène

Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Quatuor Ébène

The world class quartet with blissfully spirited music by Mozart in the beautiful ambience of the Laeiszhalle.

Technically perfect with tremendous versatility, France’s Quatuor Ébène has long been one of the top line-ups on the international music scene. »A string quartet that can easily morph into a jazz band«, enthused the New York Times. For its »Elbphilharmonie Session« in the beautiful ambience of the Laeiszhalle, the team of four has, however, obviously not brought along any jazz, but a smash hit composer of classical music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. With a movement from his Quartet in D Major K. 575, the musicians devote themselves to one of the final string quartets by the Salzburg native – a melodious and soulful work.

»This music is so wholesome. We love it a lot.«

Quatuor Ébène

Live in concert :27 February 2025

For its next visit to Hamburg, the Quatuor Ébène switches from the Laeiszhalle to the Elbphilharmonie – with repertoire gems and brand new pieces.

»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène
»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter

Das Quartett

The Quatuor Ébène has been among the crème de la crème of the music world for more than twenty years. Established in 1999, the global career of the French foursome really took off ever since its triumph at the prestigious ARD International Music Competition. The four musicians are on their way onto all the top stages of the concert world - in Hamburg too, they are always one of the special season highlights, not just for chamber music fans. Their extensive discography includes albums with classics by Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven and Debussy – recordings for which the quartet has scooped up numerous awards.

In addition to the traditional repertoire, the musicians repeatedly dip into other styles as well – so, the designation as a »jazz band« in the New York Times is not for nothing. More for fun and just for a change, the young musicians improvised over jazz standards and pop songs back then in the rehearsal rooms of their university – today, these additions and even related CD productions have become a special trademark.

Performers

Quatuor Ébène

Pierre Colombet violin
Gabriel Le Magadure violine
Marie Chilemme Viola
Yuya Okamoto violoncello

»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène
»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter

The Music :Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: String Quartet in D Major K. 575 / IV. Allegretto (1789)

Mozart’s String Quartet in D Major K. 575 is one of the three final quartets which the famous classical composer put on paper in the two years before his early death. These three works got their epithet as the »Prussian Quartets« because Mozart originally composed them on behalf of the cello playing Prussian King Wilhelm II. – even if the composer ultimately had to publish them elsewhere for various reasons, however. Even so, for the sake of the cello-loving king, Mozart created a particularly important and melodious cello voice in these compositions. Such an equilibrium of voices was something new at that time and a pioneering step towards the compositions of later associates, such as Beethoven and Schubert.

The 4th movement of the Quartet in D Major, in particular, starts with a gorgeous and fleet-footed cello cantilena, which forms the melodic starting point of the spirited allegretto. It comes as no surprise then that the Quatuor Ébène specifically made use of these »Prussian Quartets« in 2024 to introduce Yuya Okamoto, the quartet’s new cellist.

»This music is very natural. It seems almost unassuming, never pretentious.«

Quatuor Ébène

»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène
»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter

The Location

The Laeiszhalle Recital Hall was refurbished after the Second World War, and today it is one of the few surviving concert halls in authentic 1950s design. Chamber music series, song recitals and jazz concerts are regularly put on in these cosy and charming surroundings. The hall seats 640 people, making it a little bigger than the Recital Hall of the Elbphilharmonie.

Production:

Udo Potratz Sound Engineer

Jasper Techel Camera
Gert Seggewiß Assistant Camera

Pauline Schüler Grip

Julian Conrad Edit

Julian Conrad, Julika von Werder Production Management

»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène »Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter
»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène »Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter
»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène »Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter
»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène »Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter
»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène »Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter
»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène »Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter
»Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène »Elbphilharmonie Session« mit dem Quatuor Ébène © Sophie Wolter

About the series

Artists record exclusive music videos at the Elbphilharmonie and the Laeiszhalle for Elbphilharmonie Sessions – sometimes in unusual locations offstage. Discover the concert halls from the inside. Discover what they sound like.

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