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
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Biography

Founded in 1997 at the Escuela Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Cuarteto Casals celebrated its 20th anniversary season with an especially ambitious, multi-year project: a six-concert series of the complete Beethoven quartets, accompanied by six commissioned works from composers of its generation, performed in cities throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America including London, Vienna, Berlin and Tokyo. Highlights of this season include a Beethoven cycle at the Konserthus Stockholm in autumn 2020, a US-tour in spring 2021, concerts with Alexander Melnikov – i.a. in Budapest playing Beethoven and Shostakovich – and performances at the Philharmonie in Cologne, the Konzerthaus Berlin or at the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele. Furthermore, for the first time the quartet is artistic director of the String Quartet Biennale Barcelona in September 2020.

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.
„Overwhelming, sensational, at the moment peerlessly good”Martin Wilkening, Berliner Zeitung, January 2018
The quartet has compiled a substantial discography with the harmonia mundi label, including to date 14 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.

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, where it will be quartet in residence through 2020.

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.

2020 / 2021
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Lenemarie Leukefeld, Ellen Bäuerle

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Programme

2022 / 2023
Program I
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.

Program II
"Death and Return"
Haydn: “Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuz”, Op. 51 Hob III: 50-56 (for String Quartet and Speaker)
OR Haydn: String Quartet Op. 20 No. 1
Ligeti: String Quartet No. 1 ”Métamorphoses nocturnes”
***
Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D 810 ”Death and the Maiden”
Program III

Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 20 No. 6
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 4 in D major, Op. 83
***
Brahms: String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 51 No. 2

Cuarteto Casals & Núria Rial (Soprano)
21. - 27. November 2022
Schumann: String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41 No. 3
Schubert/Reimann: Six Chants of Robert Schumann, Op. 107 (arr. for Voice and String Quartet)
Brahms: Five Ophelia-Songs (arr. by Aribert Reimann)
Brahms: String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 No. 1
2021 / 2022

Schedule

26.06.2021
ES / Madrid
Cuarteto Casals, Àlex Garrobé

Discography

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

Lenemarie Leukefeld
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 721
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Ellen Bäuerle
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 712
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713