The Opera plays host to the Quatuor Varèse, whose members have been devoting their energy and talents to the string quartet for the past fifteen years. For the occasion, they are accompanied by pianist Anne Queffélec, one of today's greatest performers, who explores the repertoire with remarkable eclecticism.
In 1834 Robert Schumann was briefly engaged to Ernestine von Fricken. It was based on a musical theme proposed by her father - Baron Ignaz von Fricken - that Schumann composed a series of études or variations that transport us through the entire spectrum of the emotions. Is it because their intimate character clashed with the others? The five so-called "posthumous" variations performed tonight were discarded by the composer and then reintroduced after his death. Less sparkling, they possess a more subdued beauty, like a long-kept secret at last revealed. The Quartet No. 3 and the Quintet - which Clara premiered at the piano – were, in 1842, among the composer's first chamber works.
We know that when Clara married, she had to give up almost all her career as a performer and composer to embrace the life of a stay-at-home mother. The Pièce fugitive and the Nocturne, from the Soirées musicales, are hard-won victories in a wife's struggle with destiny.
Coproduced with Lorraine Chamber Music Association