Thursday, June 8, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m.
Scott Concert Hall at the Porter Center
MENDELSSOHN String Quartet No. 1
BRIDGE String Quartet No. 1
BRAHMS String Quartet No. 1
More Information (Show)
Feliz Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 12
Writing a polished string quintet at the age of 17 would be a major accomplishment for just about anyone. For Mendelssohn, however, it was just another day at the office. Having already composed a true masterwork with his progressive Octet, Mendelssohn now tried his hand at something more traditional. The outcome is a work that reflects the enthusiasm of a teenager with the polish of a seasoned musician.
The most striking element of this work is the extensive use of counterpoint (two more lines moving independently), which pervades the otherwise conventional movement structure. He had initially composed a minuet and trio that not only employed extremely complex counterpoint, but the trio was organized as a double canon, which was then inverted. He eventually realized that his enthusiasm for counterpoint had gotten the better of him and replaced the minuet with an intermezzo. His "teenage enthusiasm" can nevertheless be found in other ways—such as the scherzo-like intrusion (in the wrong key) at the end of the first movement's exposition.
Artist Information (Show)
Renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique, and multicultural innovations, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world's foremost chamber ensembles. Its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres including traditional Chinese folk music, masterpieces of Western music, and cutting edge contemporary works.
Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1993, the quartet has worked with the world's most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America, and Asia. Recent festival performances range from the International Music Festivals of Seoul and Beijing to the Festival Pablo Casals in France, Beethoven Festival in Poland, Yerevan Festival in Armenia, and Cartagena International Music Festival in Colombia, as well as numerous concerts in all regions of North America. The Quartet has appeared at Carnegie Hall in chamber performances and with orchestra. In 2006 they gave the premiere of Takuma Itoh's Concerto for Quartet and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Among innumerable collaborations with noted artists, they have performed with the Tokyo, Juiliard and Guarneri Quartets, cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Harrell, pianists Menahem Pressler, Yuja Wang, Peter Serkin, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pipa virtuosa Wu Man, and the male vocal ensemble Chanticleer.
The Quartet has a long history of championing new music and juxtaposing traditions of Eastern and Western Music. The Quartet's 30th Anniversary season brought five new commissions; Bullycide, for piano, string quartet, and bass by David Del Tredici; Fantasie, a piano quintet by Australian composer Carl Vine; a concerto for string quartet and symphony orchestra by Jeajoon Ryu; Verge Quartet by Lei Liang and Scherzo by Robert Aldridge, commissioned by Yu Long and the Beijing Music Festival. Other important commissions and premieres include works by Bright Sheng, Lowell Lieberman, Sebastian Currier, Marc Neikrug, and Zhou Long.