Cuarteto Casals

String Quartet

Vera Martínez Mehner
Violin
Abel Tomàs Realp
Violin
Jonathan Brown
Viola
Arnau Tomàs Realp
Cello
"A pianist's right hand never has to argue with her left, whereas in a quartet, the integrity of each voice places a unique burden on the others. From the horizontal perspective we are four distinct and highly opinionated voices, from the vertical we are a whole, four interlocking and interdependent voices working in concert."
Cuarteto Casals, 2018
Go to Biography
Contacts

Biography

Founded in 1997 at the Escuela Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Cuarteto Casals is celebrating their 25th anniversary in the season of 2022/2023. The anniversary program “Bach – The Art of the Fugue” is linked to essential questions of a string quartet: “When should the identity of the individual cede to the needs of the collective? Are we one or are we four? To examine this issue at its root, we have chosen to celebrate our anniversary by returning to the most profound examination of musical counterpoint in Western history: Bach’s ‘The Art of the Fugue’. Four parts, no instrumentation specified, no indications of how to execute the notes and one great enigma: how four distinct voices can retain their individuality while together creating a coherent whole.” This program will be performed e.g. at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Berlin Konzerthaus, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Konserthus Stockholm and at the Heidelberger Frühling.

Another highlight of the anniversary season includes performances of John Adams Absolute Jest – a unique and rarely played piece for String Quartet and orchestra (which premiered 2012 in San Francisco) – in Bilbao and Alicante. Furthermore, Cuarteto Casals will play a three- concerts cycle at Wigmore Hall in London in June 2023, they will perform at the Festival de Canaria in January 2023, play concerts at Konzerthaus Dortmund, Philharmonie Luxembourg and Auditorio Nacional de Música CNDM in Madrid and will tour the US in February 2023.
„Overwhelming, sensational, at the moment peerlessly good”Martin Wilkening, Berliner Zeitung, January 2018
Since winning First Prizes at the London and Brahms-Hamburg competitions, Cuarteto Casals has been a repeated guest at the world’s most prestigious concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Philharmonie Cologne, Cité de la Musique Paris, Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg and Concertgebouw Amsterdam, among many others around the world. Since September 2020, the quartet is artistic director of the String Quartet Biennale Barcelona.

The quartet has compiled a substantial discography with the harmonia mundi label, including to date 16 CD’s, with repertoire ranging from lesser known Spanish composers Arriaga and Toldrá to Viennese classics Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Brahms, through 20th Century greats Debussy, Ravel and Zemlinsky, as well as a live Blue-Ray recording of the complete Schubert quartets for Neu Records. In May 2020, to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the third box-set of a three-volume recording of his quartets was released on the harmonia mundi label; all three volumes received great critical acclaim. In September 2021, the second album featuring Mozart’s “Haydn Quartets” was released – together with the first CD from 2014, the series “Dedicated to Joseph Haydn” is now complete. “The Strad” writes about the new release: “Above all this remarkable group plays with a sensitivity of phrase, dynamic and texture that sets new standards in this much-recorded repertoire. [...] A superlative disc.”

A prize from the prestigious Burletti-Buitoni Trust in London enabled the quartet to begin a collection of matching Baroque and Classical period bows which it uses for works from Purcell through Schubert, refining its ability to distinguish between diverse musical styles. In addition, the quartet has been profoundly influenced by its work with living composers, especially György Kurtág, and has given the world premiere of quartets written by leading Spanish composers, including a new concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Francisco Coll, premiered with the Orquesta Nacional de España.

In recognition of its unique contributions to the cultural life within Catalunya and throughout Spain, Cuarteto Casals has been acknowledged as cultural ambassadors by the Generalitat of Catalunya and the Institut Ramon Lull, as well as the Ministerio de Cultura. Past awards include the Premio Nacional de Música, the Premi Nacional de Cultura de Catalunya and the Premi Ciutat Barcelona. The quartet performs yearly on the extraordinary collection of decorated Stradivarius instruments in the Royal Palace in Madrid.

Cuarteto Casals often appears on television and radio throughout Europe and North America, and in addition to giving much sought-after masterclasses, is quartet in residence at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag and at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona, where all four members reside.

2022 / 2023
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Matthias Hermann, Ellen Bäuerle

Images

Programme

2023 / 2024
Program I
Haydn: String Quartet in C major, Op. 20 No. 2, Hob. III: 32
Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 12, MWV R 25
***
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68
Program II
Bach: The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080, Contrapuncti No. 1-7 & 9
Gubaidulina: “Reflections on the Theme B-A-C-H” for String Quartet
***
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59 No. 3 „Rasumowsky“
Program III
Bachs "The Art of the Fugue"

25 Years Together, 25 Years Apart
When we were beginning, a string quartet veteran told us that for the first 25 years a quartet learns to play together and for the next 25 it learns to play apart. We have now reached that milestone and continue to confront the mystery at the heart of our work: when should the identity of the individual cede to the needs of the collective? Are we one or are we four? To examine this issue at its root, we have chosen to celebrate our anniversary by returning to the most profound examination of musical counterpoint in Western history: Bach’s ‘The Art of the Fugue’. Four parts, no instrumentation specified, no indications of how to execute the notes and one great enigma: how four distinct voices can retain their individuality while together creating a coherent whole.

2022 / 2023

Schedule

14.12.2022
20:00 Uhr
DE / Köln - Kölner Philharmonie
Cuarteto Casals
15.12.2022
19:30 Uhr
DE / Hamburg - Elbphilharmonie Kleiner Saal
Cuarteto Casals
11.01.2023
20:00 Uhr
DE / Dortmund - Konzerthaus
Cuarteto Casals
17.01.2023
19:30 Uhr
CH / Basel - Stadtcasino Hans-Huber-Saal
Cuarteto Casals, Claudio Martinez Mehner
19.01.2023
ES / La Palma - Los Llanos de Aridane - Museo Arqueológico Benahoartia
Cuarteto Casals
20.01.2023
ES / Lanzarote - San Bartolomé - Teatro Municipal de San Bartolomé
Cuarteto Casals
21.01.2023
ES / Fuerteventura - Antigua - Auditorio de Antigua
Cuarteto Casals
22.01.2023
20:00 Uhr
ES / Tenerife - La Laguna - Teatro Leal
Cuarteto Casals
23.01.2023
20:00 Uhr
ES / Gran Canaria - Las Palmas - Teatro Pérez Galdos
Cuarteto Casals
25.01.2023
20:00 Uhr
ES / Barcelona - Palau de la Música Catalana
Cuarteto Casals
15.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
US / New York City, NY - Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall
Cuarteto Casals
16.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
US / Philadelphia, PA - Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Perelman Theater
Cuarteto Casals
17.02.2023
20:00 Uhr
US / Boston, MA - Harvard Music Association Hall
Cuarteto Casals
19.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
CA / Montreal - Bourgie Hall: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Cuarteto Casals
21.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
US / Houston, TX - Rice University, Sheperd School of Music Stude Concert Hall
Cuarteto Casals
22.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
US / Tucson, AZ - Leo Rich Theater
Cuarteto Casals
23.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
US / Salt Lake, UT - Libby Gardner Hall
Cuarteto Casals
25.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
US / Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA - Sunset Cultural Center
Cuarteto Casals
26.02.2023
14:00 Uhr
US / Los Angeles, CA - William Andrews Clark Library at UCLA
Cuarteto Casals
28.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
CA / Vancouver, BC - Vancouver Playhouse
Cuarteto Casals
08.03.2023
18:30 Uhr
ES / Madrid - Fundación Juan March
Cuarteto Casals
29.03.2023
20:00 Uhr
LU / Luxemburg - Philharmonie de Luxembourg Salle de Musique de Chambre
Cuarteto Casals

Discography

Quartets Dedicated to Haydn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet no.15, KV 421
String Quartet no.17, KV 458 "The Hunt"
String Quartet no.18, KV 464

Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet 'Dissonance', KV 465

Apotheosis
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 5, Op. 18 No. 5
String Quartet No. 6, Op. 18 No. 6

String Quartet No. 11, 'Serioso', Op. 95
String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131

String Quartet No. 13, Op. 130 with 'Grosse Fugue' Op. 133

Revelations
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 18 No. 2
String Quartet No. 10, Op. 74

String Quartet No. 8, Op. 59 No. 2
String Quartet No. 9, Op. 59 No. 3

String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132

Inventions
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 18 No. 1
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 18 No. 3
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 18 No. 4

String Quartet No. 9, Op. 14
String Quartet No. 7, Op. 59 No. 1

String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127
String Quartet No. 16, Op. 135

Schubert: Complete String Quartets #2 - Live in Barcelona
Franz Schubert
String Quartet No. 4, D 46
String Quartet No. 1, D 18
String Quartet No. 9, D 173

Schubert: Complete String Quartets #1 - Live in Barcelona
Franz Schubert
String Quartet No. 7, D 94
String Quartet No. 5, D 68
String Quartet No. 14, D 810 "Death and the Maiden"

Mozart: String Quartets dedicated to Haydn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet No. 14, K.387
String Quartet No. 16, K.428/421b
String Quartet No. 19, K.465

Haydn: The Seven Last Words
Joseph Haydn
The Seven Last Words of Christ, Hob.XX:2

20th Century String Quartets
Claude Debussy
String Quartet, Op. 10

Alexander von Zemlinsky
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 15

Maurice Ravel
String Quartet, Op. 35

Eduard Toldrà
Vistes al mar

Joaquín Turina
Oración del torero

Schubert
Franz Schubert
String Quartet No. 10, Op. 125/1 D.87
String Quartet No. 15, Op. 161 D.887

Boccherini: La musica notturna di Madrid
Luigi Boccherini
String Quintet G. 324, Op. 30 No. 6
String Quintet No. 6, G.275, Op. 11 No. 5
String Quartet G. 205, Op. 32 No. 5
Guitar Quintet No. 6, G. 448

Eckart Runge - Cello
Carles Trepat - Guitar

Metamorphosis
Béla Bartók
String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91

György Ligeti
String Quartet No. 1, "Métamorphoses nocturnes"

György Kurtág
12 Microludes for String Quartet, Op. 13

Haydn
Joseph Haydn
String Quartets, Op. 33

Brahms: Complete String Quartets and Piano Quintet
Johannes Brahms
String Quartet, Op. 51 No. 1
String Quartet, Op. 51 No. 2
String Quartet, Op. 67 No. 3
Piano Quintet, Op. 34

Claudio Martínez Mehner - Piano

Influencias
Maurice Ravel
String Quartet, Op. 35

Eduard Toldrà
Vistes al mar

Joaquín Turina
Oración del torero

Mozart: The Early Quartets
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet No. 1, K. 80
Divertimento K. 136
Divertimento K. 137
Divertimento K. 138
String Quartet No. 2, K. 155

String Quartet No. 3, K. 156
String Quartet No. 4, K. 157
String Quartet No. 5, K. 158
String Quartet No. 6, K. 159
String Quartet No. 7, K. 160
String Quartet No. 8, K. 168

String Quartet No. 9, K. 169
String Quartet No. 10, K. 170
String Quartet No. 11, K. 171
String Quartet No. 12, K. 172
String Quartet No. 13, K. 173

Debussy & Zemlinsky
Claude Debussy
String Quartet, Op. 10

Alexander von Zemlinsky
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 15

Videos

Beethoven Complete String Quartets, vol. 1
Cuarteto Casals 20th Anniversary
Schubert Complete String Quartets # 2
Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Christ
Beethoven in Colombia 2020

Contact

Matthias Hermann
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 716
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Ellen Bäuerle
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 712
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713