FASCH Sonata a quattro in D minor
HAYDN String Quartet in F minor, Op.20 No.5
SHAW Punctum; Entr'acte {a minuet & trio}
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

While the string quartet as we know it today was a product of the Classical era, it wasn't the first genre for two violins, viola and cello. Johann Friedrich Fasch, a Baroque composer and contemporary of J.S. Bach, scored some sonatas for this instrumentation, and here we present his Sonata a quattro in D minor as a precursor to the genre. Despite writing 68 string quartets over the course of his career, Haydn managed to imbue each new work with freshness and originality. His String Quartet in F minor, Op. 20 No. 5, draws on inspirations of the past while reimagining them in a new context. Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw creates music that is simultaneously looking forward and backward, and the result is both whimsical and emotionally penetrating. Punctum, inspired by a passage from Rolland Barthes' 1980 book Camera Lucida, is an experiment in expectation and fulfillment, based on a chorale from Bach's St. Matthew Passion. A modern take on a traditional quartet movement, Entr'acte is Shaw's “Tim Burton-inspired warped version of a Haydn Minuet & Trio.” Finally, we present Beethoven's monumental String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131, a visionary work in which the composer explores the struggles of the human spirit.