Both Dvorák and Korngold had the most marvellous and engaging responses to the USA they encountered in the 1890s and 1930s respectively. Dvorák composed this quartet in an astonishingly productive couple of weeks, reacting with childlike enthusiasm to the sounds he came across on a rare family holiday in the countryside. Korngold’s circumstances could not be more different, for in America he found a safe haven from the encroaching political threats in his native Vienna, thereafter changing the sound of his adopted land.
How fitting to see these pieces programmed alongside two other distinctive and original masterpieces for piano quintet – and throwing into relief the mature and individual voice of young Australian composer Jakub Jankowski. And how brilliant to have them performed by the Goldner Quartet and Piers Lane – long-time friends, colleagues, collaborators – who for so long have championed the old and the new with utter commitment.