Grand emotions on an intimate scale, with an award-winning young ensemble
The Esmé Quartet take their name from an old French word meaning “beloved”, and in two concerts at the Hong Kong Arts Festival these four German-trained Korean musicians explore the wide emotional range of the European classical quartet tradition. Their first concert combines passionate 19th century masterpieces by Beethoven and Mendelssohn with the Viennese wit and lush melodies of Korngold—the Austrian composer who subsequently went on to write some of the great classic Hollywood film scores. Then they visit Russia and France, where Tchaikovsky’s deeply romantic First Quartet complements music by the composer Tchaikovsky revered above all others—Mozart. The sensuous musical imagination of Debussy makes for a ravishing contrast at the heart of this programme—and with music as beautiful as this, it only takes four players to create a whole universe of emotion.