“Haydn / Hindemith” - Zehetmair QuartettThomas Zehetmair, Kuba Jakowicz, Ruth Killius, Christian Elliott
Joseph Haydn is an uncontested grandmaster of the string quartet. In the Quartet op. 76/3, he cleverly plays off musical themes against each other, the four strings enter into a lively dialogue with each other and intense passages are alternated with gallant melodies. This quartet became famous around the world thanks to the theme of the second part: it is the melody of Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser, the imperial anthem Haydn had already composed sometime before. It is to this anthem that the quartet owes its nickname ‘Emperor’ and much later, in 1922, Germany adopted the piece as its national anthem. Another year down the road, Paul Hindemith wrote his String Quartet No. 5, a compact, avant-garde work. Hindemith’s progressive, musical language wasn’t always well-received — certainly not in the 1930s. Nazi appreciation for the modernistic composer fluctuated between ‘potential new standard bearer of Germanic music’ and ‘atonal noise maker’, in the words of Joseph Goebbels.
Thomas Zehetmair, violin
Kuba Jakowicz, violin
Ruth Killius, viola
Christian Elliott, cello