A concerts series by Silesian String Quartet, one of the foremost Polish chamber ensembles.
Chamber music earned special status in the era of Viennese classicism. Among chamber music genres, the string quartet was the one most highly valued. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once observed that listening to a Mozart quartet had left him with the impression of listening to a lively conversation between four people. Indeed, the string quartet is a “democratic” genre. It is argumentative in nature and appeals to intelligence rather than attends to purely superficial effects.
Since that time, the second half of the 18th century, not much has changed in this respect. Of course, throughout the past 250 years quartets have evolved dynamically in accordance with the rhythm of changes that have affected Western music and culture. Nevertheless, even in times where the tradition of the bourgeois salon has irrevocably disappeared, chamber music genres still express highly personal messages, being at the same time the most sensitive test of compositional mastery.
The “Best of All Time: Poland and the World” concert series will present an extensive chamber music repertoire that goes beyond the string quartet. We will hear some of the masterpieces of Romantic and modern chamber literature. Each concert will also include Polish works of the second half of the 20th century, many of which have already gained the status of classics, while others remain less known. The series will feature premieres by the young generation of composers. Special emphasis will be placed on the Silesian School of Composition, one of the more important developments in post-war Polish music.
Each concert will be preceded by a talk introducing the works on the program for the evening.