Moscow String Quartet .
Over the past twenty years the Moscow String Quartet has become one of the most famous musical ensembles to emerge from Russia. All four members of the quartet arc graduates (with honors) of the world-renowned Moscow Conservatory of Music and were students of the great masters of the Russian string technique. The quartet received their post-graduate training under the supervision of professor Valentin Berlinsky, member of the internationally respected Borodin String Quartet.
An active concert and competition schedule found the Moscow String Quartet performing in the most venerable concert halls of Russia, Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, Holland, Germany, France, England, Spain and the United States. Their many accomplishments in international competitions include First Prize at the Leo Winer International Quartet Competition (Budapest, Hungary), and the Grand Prix award at the International Quartet Competition in Evian, France, where the quartet received two grand prizes for their performances in both classical and contemporary music.
The Quartet's festival appearances have included the prestigious Stratford-upon-Avon Music Festival, City of London Music Festival, Pablo Casals Festival, Paris Music Festival, Holland Music Festival, West Berlin Music Festival, Summer Music Festival (Brussels), and Kuhmo Music Festival (Finland). Festival appearances in the United States include Flagstaff Music Festival, Newport Music Festival and Grand Teton Music Festival.
Gran Sestetto Originale, in Eb Major
for piano, two violins, viola, cello and double bass
Composed in 1832 during a sojourn in Milan, the ”Sestetto Originale” reﬂects Glinka’s enchantment with Italian music. Having become friends with Maestro Donizetti and Maestro Bellini (as well as a brief encounter with Mendelssohn), the Italian style of composition, both melodic and harmonic, made an indelible impression upon the young Glinka. Composed at the age of twenty-eight and prior to his commencement of the serious study of theory and composition with the celebrated master Dehn (in 1833), the ”Sestetto Originale” demonstrates the unbridled passion and exuberance o youth.
Souvenir de Florence String Sextet in D, Op. 70
sextet for two violins, two violas and two celli composed in 1890, rev. 1891-2
In January of 1890 Tchaikovsky relocated to Florence where he began work on his opera "The Queen of Spades", based upon Pushkin's bleakly ironic novella. After a brief stay In Rome (April 1890) an completion of the compositional phase of “The Queen of Spades ’, he returned to Russia (in May) and commenced the orchestration process, as well as correction of the proof of the vocal score. With the completion of these tasks, he embarked upon the creation of a string sextet which he entitled "Souvenir de Florence", in homage to the creative climate which, as he described in a letter to his brother Modest, ”midwifed” his new opera.
Never comfortable with composing for chamber ensembles, Tchaikovsky found the process to be incredibly‘ difficult. He confessed to Modest, “I am hampered not lack of ideas but by t e complexity of form. There must be six independent and at the same time homogeneous voices.”
Perhaps the most intimate of Tchaikovsky’s mid-sized works, "Souvenir de Florence” was written for personal satisfaction rather than for a performance or publishing deadline and thus presents the more gently reflective and lyrical nature of this great composer.