Performance Thursday, October 12, 2017 | 7:30 PM

Takács Quartet

Zankel Hall
H. C. Robbins Landon, the famed Haydn scholar, called the composer’s “Fifths” String Quartet “one of the most serious, learned, and intellectually formidable works he ever wrote.” It is certainly erudite with an opening movement that’s a marvel of austere beauty and compelling turbulence, but there is also cutting wit and a finale that nods to the Hungarian Gypsy traditional. If Haydn’s quartet appeals to the mind, Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2 moves the heart with a rhapsodic opening movement and a wrenching, sorrow-drenched lament.


  • Takács Quartet
    ·· Edward Dusinberre, Violin
    ·· Károly Schranz, Violin
    ·· Geraldine Walther, Viola
    ·· András Fejér, Cello
  • Erika Eckert, Viola


  • HAYDN String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 76, No. 2, "Fifths"
  • CARL VINE String Quartet No. 6, "Child's Play" (US Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • MENDELSSOHN String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 87


Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with Edward Dusinberre, first violinist of the Takács Quartet, in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 76, No. 2, “Fifths”

Haydn was at the peak of his compositional powers when he wrote the six Op. 76 quartets in the mid-1790s. Like his late masterpiece The Creation, the Op. 76 quartets are notably adventurous in their thematic material, harmony, texture, and timbre. The D-Minor Quartet takes its nickname, and much of its outgoing character, from the boldly striding open fifths played by the first violin at the beginning of the work.

CARL VINE  String Quartet No. 6, “Child’s Play”

The latest string quartet by Australian composer Carl Vine echoes the playful exuberance that characterizes much of Haydn’s music. Each of the work’s five movements evokes a different activity associated with childhood, a stage of life that Vine sees as imbued with “a sense of fun and limitless potential.”

FELIX MENDELSSOHN  String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 87

The second of Mendelssohn’s two string quintets dates from 1845, two years before the composer’s untimely death. Posthumously published in 1851, the Quintet in B-flat Major blends youthful exuberance and mature passion. Only the comparatively short-winded finale—which Mendelssohn intended to revise but never did—leaves the listener hungry for more.

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.
This performance is part of Chamber Sessions II.

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