Saturday, June 23, 2007


Cycles of a composer's complete [fill-in-the-blank] are not difficult to find: the Beethoven string quartets are being done someplace almost all the time. The Emerson celebrated 30 years together with a tasty cycle in NYC that included works by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Ives, Webern, Bartok, and other composers, one of which was a new quartet by Kaija Saariaho. Locally, this year's Music in the Vineyards Festival features a Beethoven quartet cycle. The Salzburg Festival feted Mozart with a cycle of his 22 operas, now available as a boxed set. Andras Schiff is playing all 32 of Beethoven's piano sonatas at Davies.

The New Esterhazy Quartet is about to undertake a remarkable cycle: over the next two years, they will play all 68 of Haydn's string quartets, on original instruments, in 18 concerts. Sixty-eight!

I'm so happy to see this. I feel like Haydn is one of the great unknown composers even though he more or less invented the modern symphony and string quartet. I hope the series is well-attended. I don't expect to have many chances in my life to see all of these played by one group.

The first season consists of 10 concerts at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco, plus an additional program that will be presented at three Bay Area venues under the auspices of the San Francisco Early Music Society. All of the St. Mark's concerts will be at 4 p.m.

And the very first concert is soon, soon, soon, on Sunday, July 1.

Here's the complete season and contact information for the quartet. This is cut-and-pasted from email posted on the Well, so it is not beautiful. I would put it behind a cut tag if I could figure out how, sigh.

"Individual tickets are $25 ($20 for SFEMS members, $10 for students and seniors 65+), a subscription to the St. Mark's series is $175, or $250 for a pair of tickets to all ten concerts. Please make your purchase at the door."

The New Esterhazy Quartet
POB 251
Vacaville CA 95696
phone: 510/233-9403
temporary email address: a.p.martin@earthlink.net

Sunday 7/1/07: Founder's Concert I
Op33/5 in G (How Do You Do?)
Op2/2 in E
Op55/1 in A
Op76/5 in D

Saturday 9/29/07: Haydn and Royalty, Part 1
The Princes and the Frog
Op1/3 in D (Prince Nicholas Esterh?)
Op77/1 in G (Prince Lobkowitz)
Op2/4 in F (Prince Nicholas Esterh?)
Op50/6 in D (The Frog)

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10/19?21/2007: The Horseman & the Hunt
Presented by the S.F. Early Music Society
Op1/1 in Bb (La Chasse)
Op74/3 in g (The Rider)
Op17/3 in Eb
Op33/3 in C (The Bird)

Saturday 11/24/2007: Haydn and Royalty, Part 2
The Duke and the Counts
Op76/1 in G (Count Joseph von Erd
Op33/4 in Bb (Grand Duke Paul of Russia)
Op71/1 in Bb (Count Anton Georg Apponyi)
Op33/2 in Eb (Grand Duke Paul of Russia)

Sunday 12/16/2007: Haydn's Fugues
Op42 in d
Op20/5 in f
Op20/6 in A
Op50/4 in f#

Saturday 1/19/2008: Haydn and Royalty, Part 3
The King and the Emperor
Op50/2 in C (King of Prussia)
Op50/3 in Eb (King of Prussia)
Op76/3 in C (The Emperor)

Saturday 2/16/2008: Haydn in Bethlehem
Op17/4 in c
Op20/3 in g
Op17/1 in E

Saturday 3/8/2008: Haydn in Salem
Op2/6 in Bb
Op17/2 in F
Op20/1 in Eb
Op77/2 in F

Saturday 4/12/2008: Haydn in London
The Wisdom of Salomon
Op64/3 in Bb
Op71/3 in Eb
Op74/1 in C

Saturday 5/31/2008: A Toast to Johann Tost
Op54/1 in G
Op55/3 in Bb
Op64/1 in C

Saturday 6/21/2008: Haydn in Hungary
Op33/1 in b
Op54/2 in C
Op20/4 in D
Op76/2 in d (Quinten)

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