There is no need for an excuse to listen to chamber music, but with spring still around the corner, March can call for a cozy indoor evening to lift your mood. And by now you might be ready for a change from the mulled wine and electric radiator that kept you going for the past few months. So why not brave the changeable weather and check out some of the great chamber music Moscow has to offer in the coming month?
New Russian Quartet
There are few composers who can claim to have revolutionized chamber music as much as Beethoven, who wrote no less than 16 string quartets, many of which are now considered masterpieces. This concert will feature the composer’s “Second String Quartet” as well as the “Kreutzer Sonata,” which inspired Tolstoy’s eponymous novella.
Moskontsert na Pushechnoi. 4 Ulitsa Pushechnya, Bldg. 2. Metro Kuznetsky Most. mosconcert.com
The San Francisco-based, Grammy-award winning Kronos Quartet is a true rock star of the contemporary classical music genre, an ensemble that any composer would feel honored to have play their music. At Zaryadye, Moscow’s sleekest concert hall, they will be performing a wide assortment of contemporary pieces, including a world premiere by the Russian minimalist composer Vladimir Martynov, and a quartet by Krzysztof Penderecki.
Zaryadye Concert Hall. 6 Ulitsa Varvarka, Bldg. 4. Metro Kitay-Gorod. zaryadyehall.com
This three-day festival showcases chamber music from the bleeding-edge of the classical genre, much of it incorporating electronics and video installations. Performing ensembles include the ever-exciting Studio of New Music and the Swiss-based Ensemble of Nomads. Come with an open mind, and you might find a new favorite composer.
Moscow House of Composers. 18/10 Bryusov Pereulok, Bldg. 2. Metro Okhotny Ryad. www.gamfest.org
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the work of Alexander Borodin, or maybe you might recognize his exotic and festive “Polovtsian Dances.” This chemist who composed operas on his days off also wrote two extraordinary string quartets, both of which you can hear performed at this concert by Rusquartet.
Moscow Conservatory. Rachmaninoff Hall. 13/6 Ulitsa Bolshaya Nikitskaya. Metro Okhotny Ryad. www.mosconsv.ru
What could be a better (or more romantic) place to start spring off than a tropical orangery? Especially to the tune of live classical music? The ensemble Simple Music will be performing two piano quintets, one by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, the other by Anton Rubinstein, under lemon trees and azaleas in the Apothecary Garden. If you can’t make this concert, there are concerts almost every day in March. For more information in Russian on this and other concerts, see the site.
Apothecary Garden. 26 Prospekt Mira, Bldg. 1. Metro Prospekt Mira. hortus.ru/