Candlelight Concerts: The Brentano String Quartet visits Wilton

The Brentano String Quartet will present works by Mozart, Schubert and Bartok when it performs Sunday, Oct. 26, at 4 p.m. at Wilton Congregational Church, 70 Ridgefield Road. This is the second concert in the Wilton Candlelight Concerts 2014/15 season.

Quartet members — violist Misha Amory and violinists Serena Canin, Nina Lee and Mark Steinberg — will play the Mozart Quartet K458 Hunt; Bartok Quartet #3 and Schubert Quartet D. 810, Death and the Maiden.

Since its formation in 1992, the quartet has performed around the world in the most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House.

Of the works to be performed in Wilton, program notes by Mr. Steinberg refer to Franz Schubert’s unhappy nature. He says that Schubert wrote, “I feel myself to be the most unfortunate, the most miserable being in the world,” as he went on to complain about his health and general despair over fruitless hopes and the “acutest pain” of love.

Perhaps his composition Death and the Maiden comes as no surprise. Written when he was just 27, Mr. Steinberg writes, the piece takes its name from the second movement, which is a set of variations on Schubert’s song of the same name. In the song, Death approaches a young maiden and says to her, “Give me your hand, you lovely, tender creature. I am a friend and come not to punish. Be of good courage, I am not cruel; you shall sleep softly in my arms.”

A counterpoint to this is the frolicsome Mozart quartet known as Hunt, a piece that takes listeners through fields and forests, flirting with lovers, making its way to a minuet, adagio and final movement that “abounds with laughter, teasing, skipping, and general merriment,” Mr. Steinberg’s notes say.

The third selection, Bela Bartok’s Quartet #3, was written in 1926, when the composer was internationally known, and it is his only quartet written in one continuous movement.

According to Misha Amory’s program notes, Bartok’s music displays such “a dazzling array of textures, colors and intensities that the theory behind the writing is utterly transformed.”

A portion of the proceeds from each Candlelight Concert benefits Wilton Library. Ticket information is available at 203-762-3401 or candlelightconcerts.org.