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Spring Chamber Concert Series – Two

April 24, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - May 21, 2021 @ 11:30 pm


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PREMIERES APRIL 24, 2021, 5:00 pm
with on demand streaming through May 21st


The second virtual concert in our Spring 2021 Chamber Concert series premieres April 24th and features musical selections by three SSO ensembles:

String Quartet – Masako Yanagita, Violin; Marsha Harbison, Violin; Delores Thayer, Viola; Boris Kogan, Cello
String Trio – Beth Welty, Violin; Noralee Walker, Viola; Joel Wolfe, Cello
Percussion Trio – Martin Kluger, Nathan Lassell, and Robert McEwan

Join us on the premiere date or stream anytime on demand through May 21st!

On the program:

Borodin: String Quartet No. 2
III. Notturno. Andante.

Debussy: Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum, from Children’s Corner

Mozart: String Duo No. 1 in G Major for violin and viola, K. 423
I. Allegro
II. Adagio

Sammut: Libertango – Variations on Marimba
Nathan Lassell, marimba soloist, with Robert McEwan on cajon

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135
IV. Grave, ma non troppo tratto – Allegro

Živković: Trio Per Uno
I. Meccanico

NOTE: Repertoire subject to change

Download the program for this concert
See program notes for this concert
Read musician bios

Once you purchase your ticket/s, you will receive a unique link via email. Please contact Lynn Nichols if you lose or misplace your concert link email and it will be resent to you. This concert is available on-demand streaming through May 21, 2021.

Through the Card to Culture program, individuals who are EBT, WIC, or ConnectorCare card holders may get free tickets to this event. Contact Education Director Kirsten Lipkens if you are interested.


Program Notes

Borodin: String Quartet No. 2, Movement III, Notturno. Andante.

Performed by the String Quartet

This is the most famous movement of the quartets by Alexander Borodin (1833 – 1887). It features a beautiful romantic melody in the cello, an agitated middle section, then a peaceful restatement of the main theme in canon (first the cello and the first violin, then between the two violins).

Many themes of this quartet were adapted into the 1953 Broadway musical, Kismet. It was also used in the score to Disney’s 2006 short, The Little Matchgirl. Excerpts of the piece were also played in the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

Borodin was a famous Russian composer, who was part of the group called the Mighty Five, which included Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. He was a famous research chemist, professor, and founded a medical school for women in 1872.

It is fitting to include Borodin’s romantic Russian music, as we have a Russian cellist, Boris Kogan, in the quartet. – Program notes by Marsha Harbison

Debussy: Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum

Performed by the Percussion Trio

Notes to come

Mozart: String Duo No. 1 in G Major for violin and viola, K. 423

Performed by the String Trio

I. Allegro
II. Adagio

The string trio playing the first and second movements of this three-movement work by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791). It is one of only two pieces Mozart composed for this combination, the other being the duo in Bb, K. 424.

K. 423 and 424 were composed in Salzburg in 1783 as a favor to his friend Michael Haydn, who was ill and unable to complete a commission from the Archbishop of Salzburg, who had asked for six duos for violin and viola. Haydn had only been able to complete four of them, and the Archbishop threatened to withhold his salary until all six were completed. Mozart gave these to Haydn to pass off as his own.

Mozart played both violin and viola, but he preferred the viola. In this piece, you will hear that the viola part is every bit as difficult and interesting as the violin part, and is not treated as merely an accompaniment. – Program notes by Beth Welty

Sammut: Libertango - Variations on Marimba

Performed by Nathan Lassell, marimba, and Robert McEwan, cajon

Eric Sammut’s variations on Astor Piazzolla’s “Libertango” introduces and embellishes a beautiful descending progression with growing fervor and passion. Our addition of a cajon, originally a Peruvian instrument, is a nod to its use in tango and flamenco settings. French-born percussionist Eric Sammut (b. 1968) is a member of Orchestre de Paris, educator at the Royal Academy of Music in London and a master marimbist and international clinician. – Program notes by Nathan Lassell

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135, Movement IV, Grave, ma non troppo tratto – Allegro

Performed by the String Quartet

This is the last movement of the last quartet by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827). After the title, he writes the motif of the Grave with the words, “Muss es sein?” (Must it be?) with the somber low notes introduced in the viola and cello with an upward interval, as in a question. He also writes the answering motif from the Allegro (lively tempo), “Es muss sein!” with the notes inverted, going down, in a lively tempo and in a major key (more joyful). As the movement progresses, the harmonies move into weird areas and entrances seem to divert to chaos, but it ends with a playful melody with pizzicato (plucked) accompaniment. There is much speculation about the meaning of the title of this movement, “Der schwer gefasste Entschluss (The difficult decision),” the question and the answer. Beethoven wrote to his publisher that it had given him much trouble to compose the last movement of his last quartet, but the feeling of triumph is unmistakable. – Program notes by Marsha Harbison

Zivkovic: Trio Per Uno, Movement I, Meccanico

Performed by the Percussion Trio

Trio Per Uno by Nebojša Jovan Živković (born 1962) consists of three movements. The edge-movements have some similarities in manner and appears as if they would represent a perfection of wildness in an archaic ritual cult. The second movement has its own special lyric and contemplative mood. The opening requires a bass drum (lying flat) played with timbale sticks by all three players. In addition to that sound, a pair of bongos and china-gongs are used by each player.

Meccanico (Movement I), with its relentless 16th note and 32nd note rhythms, alternates between unison pulsations and antiphonal outbursts traded back and forth among the 3 percussionists. I hear this as a percussion machine that evolves into a grooving engine of celebratory drum sounds, winding up as a climactic frenzy featuring clanging Chinese cymbals requiring a rather dazzling display of technical virtuosity. – Program note by Martin Kluger

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April 24, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
May 21, 2021 @ 11:30 pm
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