The Prague-based Pavel Haas Quartet (violinists Veronika Jarůšková and Marek Zwiebel, violist Pavel Nikl, and cellist Peter Jarůšek) is named for the Czech composer who had been consigned to the Terezin (Theresienstadt) transit point concentration camp by the Nazis before he was transferred to Auschwitz, where he died shortly before the end of the Second World War. The group was founded in 2002 by Jarůšková, inspired by the work of the Škampa quartet in which her husband, Jarůšek, was playing. It made its San Francisco debut in a San Francisco Performances (SFP) recital in April of 2011 and returned to Herbst Theatre to give a second SFP recital in November of 2012. At the end of this month it will return for a third SFP recital.
While the program for this occasion will not include any of the music of the ensemble’s namesake, the three selections all have a decidedly Slavic character. The group’s “home base” will be represented by Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 51 quartet in E-flat major, completed in March of 1879 and given its first performance at the home of Joseph Joachim in Berlin. Like many of Dvořák’s compositions, it has an elegiac second movement in the Czech dumka form, the structure for some of his most expressive work. The program will begin with Dmitri Shostakovich’s very first published string quartet, his Opus 49 in C major. The second half of the program will consist entirely of the second of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 59 quartets, the set of three dedicated to Count Andrey Razumovsky, who was serving as the Russian ambassador in Vienna when they were composed in 1806.
This recital will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street) on Monday, March 31. Ticket prices are $65 and $38. Tickets may be purchased through the event page on the SFP Web site. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 415-398-6449.