O schöne Nacht -- beautiful night! DAMASK explores the sensual and mysterious possibilities of darkness in our program of Romantic quartets by masters of 19th-century song, including dreams sweet and terrifying, fantastic creatures, ghosts, silent longings and regrets, new-blooming love, homesickness, dancing and stories around the fire.
We perform Brahms’s complete Op. 92 and Op. 112 quartet cycles, featuring some of his most ravishing vocal writing; and we are delighted to present some exquisite, rarely-performed quartets by two of Brahms’s lesser-known contemporaries. Heinrich von Herzogenberg married one of Brahms's piano students and was a tireless advocate for his colleague's work. His Notturnos, Op. 22, are almost unbelievably harmonically rich and expansive, and the first movement of the cycle directly inspired Brahms’s more famous O schöne Nacht. Gustav Jenner, a generation younger and Brahms’s only formal student, wrote captivating quartets of rhetorical grandeur and humor. Together, these gorgeous miniatures, mostly not as well known as they deserve to be, make for a beautiful and satisfying evening of chamber music.