Emerson String Quartet
Friday, September 8, 2023 | 8:00 pm
Our Chamber Arts Series opens with a final visit from the Emerson String Quartet, a group that has been at the forefront of chamber music-making across the globe for the best part of a half century. With more than 30 acclaimed recordings, nine GRAMMY Awards, three Gramophone Awards and an Avery Fisher Prize to their name, this year the American quartet bids adieu to the concert stage.
On their farewell tour, the Emersons will bring a range of classic quartets, opening with Mendelssohn’s passionate String Quartet No. 2, a work significantly influenced by the late string quartets of another featured composer on the program: Beethoven. The final of Beethoven’s trio of late string quartets – and the composer’s personal favorite – is thought to be one of his most original and ambitious, with shifting chromaticism and contrapuntal movement. Sandwiched in between these two works is Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 12, the second of four quartets dedicated to each member of the Beethoven Quartet. Shostakovich wrote this for the ensemble’s first violinist, Dmitri Tsyganov, who had a famously vigorous style of playing. This energy is matched in the piece, with the players pushed to extremes in both intensity and dynamic range. Indicative of the composer’s great love of numbers, the 12th Quartet pays homage to the serialist 12-tone row, before entering into a more tonal soundworld.
Arrive early for a free public appearance of Close Act Theatre’s Birdmen outside of the venue beginning at 7:20 p.m.
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Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, op. 13
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 12 in D-flat Major, op. 133
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 14, op. 131
Emerson Quartet & cellist David Finckel: Schubert’s String Quintet in C, D. 956, Op.Posth 163
Emerson String Quartet Shostakovich Quartet No 8 in C minor Op 110
Emerson String Quartet Shostakovich, String Qtet no 3, III
... with musicians like this there must be some hope for humanity.