Chiaroscuro Quartet are excited to announce the release of their latest recording for BIS, which sees them return to the music of Schubert including his String Quartet No. 9 in G minor, and No. 14 in D minor, better known as ‘Der Tod und das Mädchen‘. Schubert first used Matthias Claudius’ poem in 1817 when he set the text for a lied. He revisited the subject again in 1824, when at just 26 years old he was already facing his own mortality, this time creating what was to become one of the true masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire.
Chiaroscuro have performed the piece many times but it is a work that is in continual development. Claire Thirion, the quartet’s cellist, explains, “each time we play this piece we discover something new about it, it’s never the same twice. Playing with gut strings allow us to explore the extremes of both the fragility of the work but also the unbearable pain, it’s not always beautiful and as a musician, you have to be ready emotionally to play Schubert”.
Chiaroscuro can be heard in a somewhat lighter mood at Wigmore Hall on 1 October, performing Haydn’s String Quartet op33/2 ‘The Joke’. They are joined in the lunchtime concert by Annelien Van Wauwe in Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. The concert can be heard live on BBC Radio 3 and via the BBC iPlayer for a further 30 days.