The players of the Arditti Quartet are unrivalled in the field of contemporary quartet music. The fact that they also have romanticism running through their veins is proven in this unique concert. Together with Thomas Selditz (viola) and Valentin Erben (cello), they position their bows for two full-blooded romantic string sextets. Brahms, one of the first to compose in this genre, took a chance when he created a sextet with such a dark sounding colour and symphonic weight. Thanks to the markedly lyrical character and the infectious dance rhythms, Brahms' First String Sextet immediately found favour with the public. By contrast, Schoenberg's String Sextet 'Verklärte Nacht', based on the poem of the same name by Richard Dehmel, did not meet with the same enthusiasm. At the première in 1902, the public reacted in desperation and the press too was aghast. They were particularly offened by the erotic undertone of the poem set very visually to music by Schoenberg with sensual harmonies and lovelorn chromaticism. The Arditti quartet also plays the moving 'Grave' by Wolfgang Rihm, written in response to the death of Thomas Kakuska, the former violist of the Alban Berg Quartet, in 2005.