Brahms and Dvorák at Wiltons

Posted on July 26th, 2010 by

Dvorák and Brahms at Wilton’s Music Hall

 Friday 31st July 730 pm

Pre-concert Talk-7 pm

 Johannes Brahms-B Flat Major Quartet Op 67 (1875)

Antonin Dvorák-G major Quintet Op 77 (Original Version-1875)

Plus: David Blake-Fantasy

 Kreutzer Quartet (PSS, Mihailo  Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff, Neil Heyde)

Guest Artist-Rachel Meerloo (Double Bass)

On Friday 31st July, the Kreutzers bring the third concert of their summer series to Wilton’s Music Hall. This concert is based on two extraordinary works written in 1875, Antonín Dvorák’s G Major Quintet Op 77, and Johannes Brahms’s B Flat Major Op 67.

Information on the series:

Bassist Rachel Meerloo ( at Wilton's May 2009). Photo: Richard Bram

 1875 marks the year that, with the help of Joseph Joachim and Brahms, Dvorák’s music first came to international notice. 

Eduard Hanslick to Dvorák 1877: “The sympathy of an artist as famous as Brahms should not only be pleasant but also useful to you, and I think you should write to him… and perhaps send him some of your compositions…After all, it would be advantageous for your things to become know beyond your narrow Czech fatherland, which, in any case does not do much for you.”

 Dvorák’s Quintet is scored for the comparatively rare scoring of String Quartet with Double Bass, and in its orginal form, is one of his largest chamber works. Today, it is normally played in the revised (1888) version, which is in the 4 movement structure preferred by Brahms and Schumann. However, in the original version, the composer wrote two slow movements, the whole arranged symmetrically around a central Scherzo. He later excised the first of these (an Intermezzo), and transcribed it for a number of combinations-it is best known as the Notturno for String Orchestra. On Friday we will play the Quintet in its original form.

Brahms to Dvorák 1877: “You write somewhat hurriedly. When you’re filling in the numerous missing sharps, flats and naturals, it would also be good to look a little more closely at the notes themselves, and the voice leading etc. /Forgive me, but it is desirable to point out such things to a man like you.”

 We are delighted that the brilliant young double bassist, Rachel Meerloo, will be joining us for this concert. Rachel has made a big impact in her appearances at Wilton’s, playing works by Mendelssohn, Mozart and Bach on previous appearances. Her lyrical virtuosity and sensitivity has made her one of our favourite collaborators.

 Edvard Grieg, on meeting Dvorák: “Many musicians were passing by-when I was told that one of these was Dvorák, I hurried towards him. But my enthusiasm was immediately damped. He was terse, abrupt, and unaccommodating. I was completely at a loss to understand his behaviour, and the next day I reported this to his friend Brahms. ‘Don’t worry about it’ said Brahms. ‘That’s the way he is. He is a strange fellow. But in his heart of hearts he is a good person.’ ”


A rare photo of Dvorak, cleanshaven!