MOZART String Quartet in D minor, K.421
PUTS Dark Vigil
SIBELIUS String Quartet in D minor, Op.56 “Voces Intimae”
This program offers various angles of three different composers' personal take on "awareness." Mozart was highly inspired by Joseph Haydn and dedicated a set of six string quartets to him. His K.421 in D minor the second of the set and celebrates Haydn's established and cultivated style. As his only quartet in a minor key, this music at once dramatic and bold and introspective. As Kevin Puts says about his music, “Dark Vigil was a reaction to the unrelenting pattern of violence that plagued our country’s elementary and high schools during the year it was written, 1999. The title was inspired by news footage I saw of a high school in the Midwest whose students and faculty staged a student shooting incident as a means of preparation for such an event." Rather than relaying a programmatic narrative, Dark Vigil contemplates the fragility of a troubled mind. Sibelius's Quartet Op.56 in D minor is one of his mature works that displays both the conviviality and intimacy of the string quartet as a genre. Though this quartet is subtitled “Voces Intimae” (Intimate Voices), Sibelius wasn't fond of talking about the meaning behind his music. He said, “You know how the wing of a butterfly crumbles at a touch? So it is with my compositions; the very mention of them is fatal,” perhaps suggesting his music should be experience and not explained.