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Provocateurs

HAYDN Quartet in B minor, Op. 33 No. 1
HAYDN Quartet in F major, Op. 50 No. 5
PROKOFIEV Quartet No. 1 in B minor, Op. 50
PROKOFIEV Quartet No. 2 in F major, Op. 92

If not for the nearly 100 years and 1000 miles that separated them, Joseph Haydn and Sergei Prokofiev might very well have been friends, or at the very least musical compatriots. In their works we find kindred spirits who revel in the role of “provocateur,” toying with the listener’s musical sensibilities to create moments of unexpected confusion and imbalance, all the while crafting undeniably charming and attractive melodies and textures.

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Past or Present?

GESUALDO (arr. Snyder) Selected Madrigals
PINTSCHER 4º Quartetto d’Archi “Ritratto di Gesualdo”
RESPIGHI String Quartet in D major

Inspiration for new music can come from many directions, but it is often music of the past that provides the impetus for new works. In fact, the extremely unique and divergent musical voices of contemporary composers are aptly mirrored in the composers of the Renaissance, an age of experimentation in expressive extremes.

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Beethoven and Bartók

BEETHOVEN Quartet in G major, Op. 18 No. 2
BARTÓK Quartet No. 3
BEETHOVEN Quartet in E flat major, Op. 74 "Harp"

Humorous and full of wit, the String Quartet in G major, Op.18 No.2 by Beethoven evokes the youthful energy and optimism of a young idealist. The intense and searching String Quartet No.3 by Bartók is a whirling dance of emotion and strength. In his most chromatically dense and complex quartet the composer sets out to explore limits of technical difficulty and break the bounds of traditional forms. At turns both serene and impulsive, the String Quartet Op.74 by Beethoven, is no less perplexing than the Bartók, if only for its departure from the heroic tendencies of Beethoven’s other middle period works. Labelled "The Harp" for its passages of pizzicato arpeggios mimicking a harp, it is set in the warm key of E flat and represents introspective tendencies of an established composer's musical language.

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