Press enter after choosing selection

UMS Concert Program, October 2, 1985: Guarneri String Quartet --

UMS Concert Program, October 2, 1985: Guarneri String Quartet --  image UMS Concert Program, October 2, 1985: Guarneri String Quartet --  image UMS Concert Program, October 2, 1985: Guarneri String Quartet --  image UMS Concert Program, October 2, 1985: Guarneri String Quartet --  image
Day
2
Month
October
Year
1985
Download PDF
Rights Held By
University Musical Society
OCR Text

Season: 107th
Concert: Thirtieth
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

iteifiatipnal
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Guarneri String Quartet
ARNOLD STEINHARDT, Violinist MICHAEL TREE, Violist JOHN DALLEY, Violinist DAVID SOYER, Cellist
Wednesday Evening, October 2, 1985 at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM
Third concert of the complete Beethoven quartet cycle
Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4 Allegro ma non tanto Scherzo Menuetto Allegro
Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1 Allegro con brio Adagio Scherzo Allegro
INTERMISSION
Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131
Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo Allegro molto vivace Allegro moderato
Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile Presto
Adagio quasi un poco andante Allegro
RCA Red Seal Records
This evening's program is the third of six being presented in Ann Arbor over three successive seasons, in which the Guameri Quartet performs the complete cycle of Beethoven's string quartets.
Thirtieth Concert of the 107th Season Twenty-third Annual Chamber Arts Series
PROGRAM NOTES
byjEREMY YUDKIN
Quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Beethoven's Opus 18 consists of six string quartets which were written mostly in 1799, though they were not published until 1801. This was a successful and contented period for the young composer, who was not yet troubled by any signs of his impending tragic deafness and was achieving a respected reputation as a pianist and composer in musical and aristocratic circles in Vienna.
A composer writing in this medium at that time could not fail to have been constantly aware of the great masterpieces of eighteenth-century quartet literature that had been produced by Mozart and Haydn. And yet, Beethoven was never a slavish imitator. The Opus 18 quartets are familiar in their formal and structural perfection, but the stamp of the young lion is on them. As John N. Burk writes so expressively: "Certainly no one, not even Beethoven, could have borrowed that elegant investiture of a closing century and worn it with the consummate grace of those two (Mozart and Haydn), who had made it so completely a part of their natures. The brocaded coat, already slightly outmoded, does not encase these broader shoulders quite so comfortably."
The fourth of the Opus 18 quartets, in C minor, is broadly conceived and consistently projected in its overall harmonic structure. The opening movement is a grand sweep of melody and rhythm, with the flowing and graceful theme punctuated by noble chordal gestures. Moments of elegant delicacy lend contrast, while the latter part of the movement provides an opportunity for the composer to play conjuring tricks with the major and minor versions of the key.
The second movement pretends to be a strict fugue but dissolves into witty games, lilting dances, and mock-serious drama. The delicate articulation and gentle endings compound the delight.
Richness of sound, dense harmonic action, and rhythmic shifts characterize the Minuet. The central Trio section is in the major mode (the only part of the whole quartet that is not in C minor) and sounds like an outdoor country dance. The score contains explicit directions to play the repeat of the Minuet at a faster tempo, which adds a sense of urgency to its return.
The final movement is a rondo with a breathless gypsy fiddler's tune, cadenced by stamping chords and melodramatic pauses. The music falls into clear-cut sections marked by repeats, and the high spirits are continued through shared fragments of melody, an accelerated version of the tune, pregnant pauses, and the whirling ending.
Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
Beethoven's struggling perfectionism can nowhere be seen more clearly than in the eleven pages of one of his sketchbooks which he covered in developing and honing the opening motif of the first movement of Op. 18, No. 1. This motif is the gritty seed around which the pearl-like Allegro con brio is tautly constructed.
The Adagio opens with hushed chords which provide an accompaniment to the expressive violin melody. The passionate development is not without its hints of tragedy, and soaring arabesques lend urgency to the powerful declamation.
A perky elegance pervades the Scherzo which contains pre-echos of the rhythmic subtleties Beethoven exploited to such an extent in his later quartets.
The final movement is a joyous rondo, but its progress is marked by some decidedly unexpected key-shifts, contrapuntal passages, and singing interludes.
Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131
Among the late quartets of Beethoven, which in themselves constitute the most con?sistently inspired body of work in the genre, Op. 131 marks Beethoven's furthest remove from tradition and the fullest expression of his uncompromising genius. The work is in seven continuous movements, whose combined impact is of such profundity and complexity that words can provide only the sketchiest road map for the journey.
The opening fugue unfolds with serious and inevitable intent, moving between high points of sonorous fullness and thinly-scored intertwined melody. The movement fades onto a single note and an extended Allegro is brought forth, whose sure-footed impulse is made briefly insecure by the occasional hesitancy of articulation and tempo. Its ending is epigrammatic and leads straight into a wordless recitative punctuated by strong chords and uncertain questions.
The central movement and apex of the quartet is a long slow movement, Andante, in the form of a theme and variations. Wagner, who wrote extensively on this quartet, called the theme "the blessed incarnation of innocence." If so, it is an innocence born of the deepest spiritual experience. The six variations arc studies in the most extreme and yet thoroughly relevant contrasts, providing a strictly comprehensible yet profound exploration of the won?drous inner essence and hidden qualities of the original theme. A scries of undecided solo essays and trills leads to a coda that stops and starts, touches on the theme, hesitates.
In a grimly demonic manner the Scherzo plunges out into rhythmic flight, but again restraints are imposed. Strangely fragmented sections, high-flying popular melodies, glassy bowing techniques create an atmosphere of surreal and disturbing fantasy. Three repeated chords lead into the singing, contemplative, and deeply moving Adagio. Its poignant brevity is swept away by the indomitable energy of the final Allegro. Even the power of this movement is not allowed full rein without wrenching cross-rhythms, melodic interludes, and chasms of silence. An almost grotesque slowing of the tempo precedes the hammering three final chords.
About the Artists
This season the Guarncri String Quartet enters its third decade with, remarkably, the same members that made its New York debut on February 28, 1965. The Quartet celebrated its twentieth anniversary in a gala program on February 27, 1985, in New York's Carnegie Hall, assisted by pianist Peter Serkin in Dvorak's Piano Quintet in A -the same pianist who had played the same work with the ensemble in its first professional engagement, on Nantucket Island in the summer of 1964. Following this gala twentieth anniversary concert, the New York Times reviewer concluded: "It was another in a long string of splendid Guarncri concerts, proving that happy marriages do exist, even among string quartets."
The Quartet's Anniversary Season of one hundred concerts included its nineteenth tour of Europe and another transcontinental tour of the United States and Canada. In New York, the Quartet continued its annual series, begun in 1975, "Guarncri and Friends," at Alice Tully Hall and at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the 92nd Street YM-YWHA.
The Guarneri Quartet has made three tours of Australia, has toured Japan and New Zealand, and has been heard at the major international music festivals. It has been featured on television and radio specials, documentaries, and educational presentations both in North America and abroad, and it is the subject of a book entitled Quartet. In 1982 Mayor Edward Koch presented the Quartet with the New York City Seal of Recognition, an honor awarded for the first time.
In addition to performing, Quartet members serve on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and the University of Maryland. Annual residencies at the University of South Florida began in 1972 and, in 1976, that university awarded the Quartet honorary doctorates in music. The Quartet was similarly honored with honorary doctorates by the State University of New York (Binghamton) in 1983.
Among the Guarneri's recordings, several of which have won international awards, are collaborations with such artists as Arthur Rubinstein, Pinchas Zukcrman, and Boris Kroyt and Mischa Schneider of the Budapest Quartet. All members of the Guarneri have had major solo careers and continue to appear as soloists or in musical collaborations with others. Each has recorded as soloist on a variety of labels.
Arnold Steinhardt, a winner of the Lcvcntritt Award, made his solo debut at the age of fourteen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has appeared as soloist with the orchestras of Philadelphia, New York, and Cleveland. John Dallcy made his concert debut at age fourteen. He has toured widely throughout Europe and Russia and, prior to joining the Quartet, served on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory and was Artist-in-Rcsidencc at the University of Illinois. Michael Tree, noted both as violist and violinist, made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of twenty and has made solo appearances with the Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Los Angeles Orchestras, and at the Spoleto Festival. David Soyer, following a solo debut at the age of seventeen with The Philadelphia Orchestra, distinguished himself with the Bach Aria Group, the Marlboro Trio, the Guilet Quartet, and the New Music String Quartet.
This evening's concert is the nineteenth Ann Arbor performance by the Guarneri String Quartet, over a period of almost fifteen years. The Quartet returns in February to give the fourth concert in its current presentation of the complete Beethoven string quartet cycle.
The Quartet's Instruments
Arnold Steinhardt violin
John Dalley violin
Michael Tree viola
David Soyer cello
Lorenzo Storioni (Cremona) Nicolas Lupot (Paris 1810) Dominicus 13usan (Venice 1750) Andrea Guarncri (Cremona 1669)
Coming Concerts -1985-86 Season
Kalidoskopio of Greece...................................... Sun. Oct. 6
FRANgois-RENE Duchable, Pianist........................... Thurs. Oct. 10
Hanover Band of London.................................. Sat. Oct. 12
Fine Arts String Quartet.................................. Tues. Oct. 15
with Raphael Hillyer, Violist
Nathan Milstein, Violinist................................. Thurs. Oct. 24
Aterballeto.........................................Fri., Sat. Oct. 25, 26
Western Opera Theater.................................... Sun. Oct. 27
Mozart's Don Giovanni
Munich Philharmonic Lorin Maazel...................... Tues. Oct. 29
Folk Ballet of Yugoslavia ............................... Thurs. Oct. 31
Cleveland Octet........................................... Sun. Nov. 3
Carlos Montoya, Flamenco Guitarist........................... Sat. Nov. 9
Vienna Symphony Wolfgang Sawallisch................. Wed. Nov. 13
New Philadelphia String Quartet.......................... Sun. Nov. 24
with Richard Woodhams, Oboist; Yoheved Kaplinsky, Pianist
Shura Cherkassky, Pianist................................. Tues. Nov. 26
Handel's Messiah I Donald Bryant...................... Fri.-Sun. Dec. 6-8
Pittsburgh Ballet, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker............ Fri.-Sun. Dec. 13-15
Jessye Norman, Soprano....................................... Wed. Jan. 8
Cracow Philharmonic....................................... Sat. Jan. 11
Krzysztof Penderecki, Conductor; Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist
The English Concert Trevor Pinnock..................... Wed. Jan. 15
Detroit Symphony Orchestra................................ Sun. Feb. 2
Gunther Herbig, Conductor; Heinrich Schiff, Cellist Murray Louis Dance Company and
Dave Brubeck Jazz Quartet.............................. Wed. Feb. 5
Andre Watts, Pianist.......................................... Fri. Feb. 7
The Songmakers' Almanac................................... Sun. Feb. 9
Michala Petri, Recorder.................................... Thurs. Feb. 13
Guarneri String Quartet.................................. Tues. Feb. 18
San Francisco Symphony Herbert Blomstedt.............Tues. Mar. 11
Berlin Ballet.................................. Wed., Thurs. Mar. 12, 13
Beaux Arts Trio.......................................... Sun. Mar. 16
Faculty Artists Concert (free admission) ................... Sun. Mar. 23
Lewitzky Dance Company........................ Mon., Tues. Mar. 24, 25
Ruggiero Ricci, Violinist.................................... Wed. Mar. 26
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra...............................Tues. Apr. 1
Pinchas Zukerman, Conductor'Violinist Bonn Woodwind Quintet...................................Sun. Apr. 6
with Steven Masi, Pianist
Philip Jones Brass Ensemble.................................Sun. Apr. 13
John Williams, Guitarist..................................... Wed. Apr. 16
93rd Annual May Festival...................... Wed.-Sat. Apr. 30-May 3
Complete Festival information available in December.
Single tickets and most series available; write or call for fiee brochure with all details and ticket information.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Phones: (313) 665-3717, 764-2538

Download PDF