Performance Friday, October 20, 2017 | 7:30 PM

Borromeo String Quartet

Weill Recital Hall
The Borromeo String Quartet “performed at a high standard that brought you so deeply into the music’s inner workings that you wondered if your brain could take it all in” (The Philadelphia Inquirer). The foursome returns to Carnegie Hall for a program of impassioned quartets from the Romantic period by Mendelssohn and Schumann; the New York premiere of arranged selections from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I; and a new work by Sebastian Currier co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall.

Part of Salon Encores.


  • Borromeo String Quartet
    ·· Nicholas Kitchen, Violin
    ·· Kristopher Tong, Violin
    ·· Mai Motobuchi, Viola
    ·· Yeesun Kim, Cello


  • BACH Selections from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (NY Premiere, arr. Nicholas Kitchen)
  • MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13
  • SEBASTIAN CURRIER Etude 6, "Velocities" from Etudes and Lullabies (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • SEBASTIAN CURRIER Lullaby 2, "Dreaming" from Etudes and Lullabies (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • SCHUMANN String Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3

At a Glance

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  Selections from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (arr. Nicholas Kitchen)

The number of great composers who have felt the influence of The Well-Tempered Clavier only begins to reflect the impact it has had on composition in every generation since Bach. Nicholas Kitchen’s arrangement for string quartet belongs to a tradition of composers drawing from these indispensable works and discovering new ways to bring Bach’s counterpoint to life.

FELIX MENDELSSOHN  String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13

Written when he was 18, Mendelssohn’s A-Minor Quartet bears the hallmarks of his precocious genius in its technical assurance and confident handling of large-scale forms, reflecting his close study of Beethoven’s quartets. So characteristically “Beethovenian” are the A-Minor Quartet’s quasi-cyclical structure and generally high level of dissonance that it was once mistaken for one of Beethoven’s late quartets, much to Mendelssohn’s chagrin.

SEBASTIAN CURRIER  Selections from Etudes and Lullabies

Etudes and Lullabies, by American composer Sebastian Currier, comprises a dozen short pieces for string quartet that can be played either singly or in any combination the performers choose. The pairing of etude and lullaby, two genres with long histories and rich associations, offers ample scope for contrast—in this case, between the blistering energy of “Velocities” and the hallucinatory reverie of “Dreaming.”

ROBERT SCHUMANN  String Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3

Schumann’s three Op. 41 quartets of 1842 marked his return to chamber-music composition after a hiatus of several years. Like its two companions, the A-Major Quartet reflects the composer’s deep immersion in the chamber music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, as well as a departure from the literary models that had inspired much of his earlier work.

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 Quartets Plus.

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