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The Hague
the Netherlands



O schöne Nacht

O schöne Nacht

1hr30 concert, with interval

4 singers, 1 pianist


Damask presents gems of the Romantic vocal quartet literature by masters of 19th-century song. Brahms’s Liebeslieder Walzer are justifiably beloved, but he wrote scores of other gorgeous quartets which are unfairly neglected. We perform three short quartet cycles, Op. 31, 92, and 112; the former contain some of his most ravishing vocal writing, and the latter uses a group of Spanish gypsy poems in playful, charming settings. The gypsy motif returns in Robert Schumann's delightful Zigeunerleben. We also feature a group of lush, unusual quartets by Brahms's contemporary Herzogenberg, the Nocturnos Op. 22, one of which directly inspired Brahms's more famous "O schöne Nacht." And as a palate cleanser, we offer Ned Rorem’s four Madrigal settings of Sappho fragments, which though written well into the twentieth century (and thus inhabiting a different harmonic world) owe their lushness, their unapologetic Romanticism and humor, to the earlier composers. 




Johannes BRAHMS: Zwei quartette op. 112a




Johannes BRAHMS: Vier Zigeunerlieder op. 112b

Himmel strahlt so helle

Rote Rosenknospen

Brennessel steht an Weges Rand

Liebe Schwalbe, kleine Schwalbe


Johannes BRAHMS: Rhapsodie Op. 72/2 (solo piano)


Heinrich von HERZOGENBERG: Vier Notturnos op. 22

Wärs dunkel, ich lage im Walde 

Nacht ist wie ein stilles Meer 

Intermezzo: “zwei Musikanten zieh’n daher”

Wie schön hier zu verträumen



Ned ROREM: Four Madrigals


Flowers for the graces


An absent friend


Johannes BRAHMS: Drei quartette Op. 31

Wechsellied zum Tanze


Der Gang zum Liebchen


Johannes BRAHMS: Vier quartette op. 92

O schöne Nacht





Robert SCHUMANN: Zigeunerleben