The first movement should play automatically.
Then click on each of the following movements to hear them in turn.
track of the month: july 2020
Here, evoking a summer journey, is the Hawthorne String Quartet performance (recorded on a Decca Entartete Musik CD) of "Landscape," the first movement, Andante, of the String Quartet No. 2, Op. 7, "From the Monkey Mountains," by Terezín composer
Pavel Haas, born in 1899 in Brno, Czechoslovakia, was the prize pupil of Leos Janacek and is known primarily for his song cycles and string quartets. He was deported to Terezín in 1941, and he officially divorced his wife so that she and their daughter would not suffer a similar fate. With Gideon Klein, Viktor Ullmann, Hans Krasa, and others, Haas became a major figure in the camp's cultural life. He was murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1944. Music by Haas will be a highlight of our 2020 Virtual Gala.
Haas composed "From the Monkey Mountains" in 1925. The title uses the nickname of a region in the Moravian Highlands. The work was premièred by the Moravian Quartet. The first performance was not well received; in the fourth and final movement, Haas added a percussionist in combination with other unusual musical elements, and this daring experiment was not appreciated by the audience. Haas subsequently removed the percussion, though several modern performances, including this one, reinstate it. This string quartet is quite novel for its time in its use of this instrumentation as well as the international mix of Czech folk music with a pentatonic motif and a rhumba.
"Decca's Entartete Musik series could well be one of the most valuable and important ongoing projects that the record industry has on offer at the moment. . . . Excellent performances by the Hawthorne Quartet.
More music in our Track of the Month series is here.