introspective | retrospective Hagen Quartett & Jörg Widmann

Album info



Label: Myrios Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Artist: Hagen Quartett & Jörg Widmann

Composer: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)

Album including Album cover

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  • Edvard Grieg (1843 - 1907): String Quartet in G Minor Op. 27:
  • 1Grieg: String Quartet in G Minor Op. 27: I. Un poco Andante - Allegro molto ed agitato12:45
  • 2Grieg: String Quartet in G Minor Op. 27: II. Romanza. Andantino - Allegro07:26
  • 3Grieg: String Quartet in G Minor Op. 27: III. Intermezzo. Allegro molto marcato - Piu vivo e scherzando06:22
  • 4Grieg: String Quartet in G Minor Op. 27: IV. Finale. Lento - Presto al saltarello09:01
  • Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897): Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115:
  • 5Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115: I. Allegro14:03
  • 6Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115: II. Adagio11:15
  • 7Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115: III. Andantino04:43
  • 8Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115: IV. Con moto09:56
  • Total Runtime01:15:31

Info for introspective | retrospective

Introspective | retrospective. The Hagen Quartet, winner of the ECHO KLASSIK award 2011, presents a second album commemorating its 30th anniversary on the myrios classics label. Two works are combined which are particularly revealing as regards the emotions of their composers: Edvard Grieg’s introspective String Quartet, op. 27, and Johannes Brahms’s retrospective legacy, the Clarinet Quintet, op. 115, masterfully performed together with clarinetist Jörg Widmann.

"any doubts as to the originality, vision and coherence of Grieg's turbulent score are immediately dispelled in this revelatory performance. The Hagen Quartet approach the music with no preconceptions, bringing an astonishingly fresh, imaginative control of sonority and a subtle variety of texture to each section...This is an outstanding release in every respect." (BBC Music Magazine)

"It would be hard to imagine a finer version of the sadly neglected Grieg Quartet...What is so winning is the natural, unforced flexibility of the Hagen's playing in the Grieg, making it sound totally idiomatic...In the Brahms, Widmann's clarinet is first among equals...Above all, the performance brings out the mellow, Brahmsian warmth of this late work." (Gramophone Magazine)

Hagen Quartet
Jörg Widmann, clarinet, direction

The Hagen Quartet
has attained an unparalleled position among the finest ensembles of our time, having been declared “the pinnacle of musicality” (Die Presse). For nearly four decades, the Hagen has performed throughout the world and amassed a storied discography of nearly fifty recordings. Based in Salzburg, the Hagen Quartet recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021. In addition to its stunning performances, the Quartet’s approach to the business of quartet-playing sets it apart: the Hagen’s focus is purely on the music it makes, which has been reflected in the group’s enormous success.

The Quartet’s previous seasons featured performances in the world’s major music capitals, including multiple concerts at the Wigmore Hall and Cité de la Musique. The Hagen has traveled to Amsterdam to open the Concertgebouw’s First Biennial String Quartet Festival, to Asia for a tour that included three performances in Tokyo, and collaborated in programs together with Sol Gabetta and Jörg Widmann. In addition, a long-awaited Brahms recording together with the pianist Kirill Gerstein was released by Myrios Classics.

The Hagen Quartet has performed regularly in North America for decades. Recent highlights include a complete Beethoven cycle at 92Y in New York; a Brahms program together with the pianist Kirill Gerstein at Duke University; and concerts in Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

The Hagen Quartet’s most recent recording, featuring Mozart String Quartets K. 387 and K. 458, was awarded the Diapason d’Or and the Choc de Classica, as well as the coveted German ECHO Klassik Prize (2016). In 2011, The Hagen celebrated its 30th anniversary with two recordings for Myrios Classics featuring Mozart, Webern, Beethoven, Grieg, and Brahms. The same year, the Hagen won the ECHO Klassik Prize as Ensemble of the Year; in 2012, the Quartet was named Honorary Member of the Vienna Konzerthaus. Soon after its founding in 1981, the Hagen Quartet signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon that resulted in forty-five albums over the next twenty years featuring a wide array of repertoire, a project that has resulted in some of the iconic quartet recordings.

Lukas, Veronika, and Clemens Hagen are siblings, and have been performing together nearly their whole lives; Rainer Schmidt joined the group in 1987. The Hagen has collaborated regularly with celebrated artists including György Kurtág, Maurizio Pollini, Mitsuko Uchida, Sabine Meyer, Krystian Zimerman, Heinrich Schiff, Jörg Widmann, and the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Younger musicians regard the Hagen Quartet as the archetype of sound quality, ensemble playing, and genuine commitment to the works and composers of the genre. As teachers and mentors at the Salzburg Mozarteum and the Hochschule in Basel – as well as in international masterclasses – the Quartet’s members take great pride in passing on their wealth of experience and their old-fashioned craftsmanship to younger colleagues.

“One of the finest quartets of our time.” – The Washington Post

Jörg Widmann
is considered one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. The 2022/23 season sees him appear in all facets of his work, including as Visiting Composer and Conductor with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, as Artist in Residence at Concertgebouw Amsterdam’s Zaterdag Matinée, Alte Oper Frankfurt and de Singel in Antwerp.

Continuing his intense activities as a conductor this season, Jörg Widmann collaborates with orchestras including Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham and Barcelona Symphony orchestras and Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Amsterdam.

He also continues his longstanding chamber music partnerships with renowed artists such as Daniel Barenboim, Tabea Zimmermann, Sir András Schiff, Denis Kozhukhin, the Schumann and Hagen Quartetts, performing at the Schubertiade Hohenems, Philharmonie Paris, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam and Wiener Konzerthaus and Musikverein amongst others.

Widmann gave the world première of Mark Andre’s Clarinet Concerto über at the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2015. Other clarinet concertos dedicated to and written for him include Wolfgang Rihm’s Musik für Klarinette und Orchester (1999) and Aribert Reimann’s Cantus (2006).

Jörg Widmann studied clarinet with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York and later became himself professor of clarinet and composition, first at University of Music Freiburg and since 2017 as Chair professor for composition at the Barenboim-Said Academy, Berlin. He was Fellow at the Wissenschaftskollegs in Berlin and is a full member of the Bayerischen Akademie of Schönen Künste, and since 2007, the Freien Akademie der Künste Hamburg, the Deutschen Akademie der Darstellenden Künste and the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz. In 2018 he was awarded the Robert Schumann Prize for Poetry and Music and was honoured with the Bavarian Order of Maximilian.

He studied composition with Kay Westermann, Wilfried Hiller, Hans Werner Henze and Wolfgang Rihm. His works continue to receive many awards, the renowned Elise L. Stoeger Prize of the New York Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, awarded only every two years, amongst others.

His compositions are performed regularly by conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Daniel Harding, Kent Nagano, Franz Welser-Möst, Christian Thielemann, Andris Nelsons and Sir Simon Rattle and premiered by orchestras such as the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and many others. This season sees the world premiere of Jörg Widmann’s Tartaros (Labyrinth VII) for 13 instruments with Ensemble Modern at Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Currently, he is writing a cantata for soloists, choir and orchestra commissioned by the Gewandhausorchester and Thomanerchor Leipzig, and the new work will be premiered in June 2023 for the 300th anniversary of the Leipzig Bach Festival in the Thomaskirche.

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