Upcoming Concert

Bartok, Hensel, and Mukherjee

Sunday, April 14th, 2024, at 3:00 pm

7 Cortlandt Alley, Unit 6, TriBeCa

Mayuki Fukuhara, Andrea Schultz, violins; Liuh-Wen Ting, viola; Benjamin Larsen, cello

This month, Concerts on the Slope travels across the river to TriBeCa, and the home of composer Tim Mukherjee! In an intimate house concert, you will hear the world premiere of a string quartet by Tim Mukherjee himself, as well as Béla Bartók’s sixth and final string quartet, and Fanny Hensel’s string quartet, with a special pre-concert talk on Fanny Hensel by musicologist Victoria Sirota!

Buy tickets HERE

Program and Notes

Fanny Hensel (1805-1847)

String Quartet in E flat Major

      I. Adagio ma non troppo
      II. Allegreto
      III. Romanze
      IV. Allegro molto vivace

Tim Mukherjee (b. 1954)

String Quartet *world premiere*

      I. Brisk, rushing
      II. Quarter=90
      III. Adagio


Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

String Quartet no 6 in d minor, Sz. 114, BB 119,

      I. Mesto – Più mosso, pesante – vivace
      II. Mesto – Marcia
      III. Mesto – Burletta – moderato
      IV. Mesto

Program Notes:

This concert takes place in exactly the kind of setting that the pieces we play all the time are written for. Chamber music is best enjoyed in a smaller space, a living room or parlor, which provides the kind of closeness and intimacy that a concert hall typically lacks. We’re very grateful to our hosts for providing such a space for today’s program.

The first work is Fanny Hensel’s String Quartet in E flat Major. I won’t say too much about it; that’s what Victoria Sirota's going to be talking about! Just a quick mention though, that Fanny Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn’s older sister, was herself an accomplished musician and composer, in a time when even someone with her family’s wealth and status didn’t have the career opportunities afforded to someone like her brother. However, as her volume of work attests to, that didn’t slow her down very much!

I was delighted when Tim Mukherjee, our host today, told me he wanted to write a piece for Concerts on the Slope! Again, I will not say too much, as we will have the privilege of having the composer himself talk about the piece, but I’m sure I speak for the entire organization when I say thank you, Tim, for your time and dedication spent on this, your first string quartet! We’re honored to present its world premiere.

Bela Bartok was one of the most important composers of the first half of the 20th century. He basically invented the field of ethnomusicology, or the study of music in its social and cultural contexts, with his fellow composer, Zoltan Kodaly. They went from village to village through Hungary, transcribing and studying music that had been passed down orally from generation to generation, and often incorporated many of these elements into their music. His string quartets are considered giants of the repertoire, and many think of them as the greatest written since Beethoven’s. In this concert, we present his sixth and final quartet, written in 1939 for the Kolisch Quartet, one of the most prominent string quartets at the time, who worked closely with, and premiered works by, composers from Bartok and the composers of the Second Viennese School in the first half of the 20th century. They premiered the work at The Town Hall in New York, on January 20, 1941.