Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dvorak, Bartok and Beethoven

Attended an extremely beautiful concert last night featuring the Vega string quartet.
They played quartets and a quintet by the aforementioned composers. The Beethoven Quartet (F Major, Op. 14 no. 1) was a delightful early work composed in 1798. Full of echos of earlier composers it still had the strong intimations of what was to come in Beethoven's future compositions.

The Bartok (String Quartet No. 4) piece was up next. A composition featuring 5 movements each forming an "arch" the 1st and 5th movments, the 2nd and 4th with the 3rd being what the violaist called a "keystone" for the whole piece. The 3rd movement starting with a low sonic bed of layered tones and the cello whirling on top like a musical equivalent of an ice skater on clean ice. The violiaist broke a string at the end of
the fourth movenment and went on to explain much about this piece and Bartok himself while she calmly exchanged the strings.

The last piece of the night was the Dvorak quintet with piano (A Major, Op 81) which was easily the most sonically "fleshed out" due to the addition of the piano. It was a wonderful conclusion to this energetic and thoughtfully performed evening of music. The Vega string quartet is well worthy of our attention and our time.

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