Next month the New Esterházy Quartet (NEQ), consisting of violinists Lisa Weiss and Kati Kyme, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen, will begin their tenth season with a program of four string quartets divided equally between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn. The title of the program, Padre, Guida, ed Amico! (father guide, and friend), is the phrase that Mozart used to describe his relationship with Haydn. Each pair of quartets, in turn, comes from two periods in the eighteenth century, the earlier around the three-quarter mark and the later towards the end of that century. (Mozart never saw the end of the century, since he died in 1791.)
The Mozart quartets will provide the “bookends” for the entire concert. The opening selection will be the K. 169 quartet in A major, composed in Vienna in 1773 but around the time when Mozart was beginning his service as a court musician to Count Hieronymus von Colloredo, who was serving as Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. The program will conclude with K. 575 in D major, composed in 1789 and the first of the three quartets that would later be called the “Prussian” quartets, because Mozart dedicated them to King Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia after returning to Vienna from a visit to Berlin. (The king was sometimes known as the “Cellist King.”) The Haydn quartets, on the other hand, will be performed in reverse chronological order. The intermission will be preceded by Hoboken III/82 in F major, the second of the two “Lobkowitz” quartets published as Opus 77 and composed in 1799. The intermission will then be followed by a much earlier quartet, composed during Haydn’s service at Eszterháza, Hoboken III/28 in C minor, the fourth of the quartets published as Opus 17 in 1771.
As usual, NEQ’s performance will take place on a Saturday afternoon, September 17, beginning at 4 p.m. However, the venue will be across the street from where they usually perform. The concert will take place in the Chapel of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco. The entrance is at 1187 Franklin Street, between O’Farrell Street and Geary Boulevard. General admission will be $30 with discounted prices of $10 for students with valid identification and $25 for seniors, the disabled, and members of the San Francisco Early Music Society. Tickets at all prices may be purchased through a Brown Paper Tickets event page. Telephone orders and further information may be obtained by calling 415-520-0611.