NEW TO YOUTUBE | The Knights Perform Janáček’s “Kreutzer Sonata” String Quartet No. 1 Arranged for Orchestra 

The Knights chamber ensemble present the Beethoven/Tolstoy inspired work for their upcoming album on Avie Records

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The Knights is a Brooklyn-based orchestral collective formed by artistic directors and brothers violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen, the latter of whom conducts the ensemble. 

The Knights’ new album, “The Kreutzer Project” will be released on August 26, 2022, including works by Colin, Anna Clyne, Janáček, and Beethoven, ahead of the group’s scheduled performances and tour in Europe with VC Artist Ray Chen.

The first video release from the “The Kreutzer Project” is an orchestral arrangement of Leoš Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1 — also known as the “Kreutzer Sonata.” This work was inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s 1889 novella of the same title, which was based on Beethoven’s Sonata No. 9 for violin and piano, later dedicated to violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer.

The Knights’ response to these cornerstone works was a reimagining of the infamous sonata as orchestral pieces. Beethoven’s original was arranged by Colin who performs solo violin in the orchestrated version, while Eric and composer Michael Atkinson arranged and orchestrated Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1, of which the first movement can be watched below.

 

LEOŠ JANÁČEK | STRING QUARTET NO. 1 | ARR. FOR ORCHESTRA BY ERIC JACOBSEN AND MICHAEL ATKINSON | THE KNIGHTS | 2022

 

“The Kreutzer Project” album also continues the canon with Colin’s newly composed Kreutzings, which makes hidden allusions to both Beethoven and Janáček; plus a commission from Clyne, whose piece Shorthand takes its title from a line in Tolstoy’s novella: “music is the shorthand of emotion.” 

The Knights are a collective of musicians aiming to transform the orchestral experience and eliminate barriers between audiences and music. The group has toured and recorded with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, and Gil Shaham, plus has appeared at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Ravinia, The Kennedy Center, and Vienna Musikverein. 

The Jacobsen brothers, who run The Knights, are also founding members of the Brooklyn Rider string quartet. Since 2007, The Knights has toured consistently across the U.S. and Europe.