Recital 1, Presented by the Idea Factory
The NSO is thrilled to present the first Recital of the fall 2020 season, with The Atlantic String Quartet. The program includes Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, op.12 (Kodály) String Quartet in C Major, op.1, no.1 (de Saint-Georges); Lyric for Strings (Walker) and String Quartet no. 2 in A Minor, op. 51 (Brahms).
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About Atlantic String Quartet: Formed in 1985, the Atlantic String Quartet (ASQ) is a versatile and professional chamber ensemble comprised of the principal string players of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra (NSO): Heather Kao, first violin; Nancy Case-Oates, second violin; Kate Read, viola; and Theo Weber, cello. In addition to their work with the full orchestra and NSO Sinfonia, the quartet produces its own Recital Series each season, presenting a broad selection of works from the rich quartet and small ensemble repertoires. The ASQ is an integral part of the creative life of its community and is known for its versatility and ability to work with music and musicians from all styles and genres. Having shared the stage with such international classical musicians as Anton Kuerti, André Laplante, and Martin Beaver, and local artists such as jazz artist Duane Andrews and renowned songwriter Ron Hynes, the members of the quartet also teach privately, and coach and conduct other ensembles. In 2014, the ASQ was offered a placement at the prestigious St. Lawrence String Quartet Music Seminar in Stanford, CA. In 2020 the quartet released its self-titled debut album featuring works by Arthur Bliss and Maurice Ravel.
About Kodály’s Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, op.12: Kodály is a very well-remembered and respected educator, ethnomusicologist and composer. The ethos of Hungarian folk music is tied throughout most of his music, including Serenade for Two Violins and Viola. The Violin and Viola engage in intense dialogue throughout the piece; enhanced by instrumental colour and rhythmic effects.
About Saint-Georges’ String Quartet in C Major, op.1, no.1: Saint-Georges was a virtuoso violinist and conductor, who composed many instrumental works, operas and songs, all while fighting on a quest for equality. String Quartet in C Major begins with the Allegro Assai, featuring a graceful theme and diversions to minor modes. This leads into the Rondeau with alternating melodies and pizzicato accompaniment. Read more about the significant contribution of black composers and artists here.
About Walker’s Lyric for Strings: George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, originally titled lament, was written for his grandmother who had passed away a year previously – this beautiful dedication is weaved throughout mournful falling motives, sustained notes, and an impassioned climax.
About Brahms’ String Quartet no. 2 in A Minor, op. 51: Brahms’s looked up to the greats who came before him such as Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Handel and Bach, as a result, his compositions incorporate styles characteristic to baroque, classical and romantic eras – his String Quartet no. 2 in A Minor is a beautiful example of this blend. The work features four contrasting movements: the allegro non tropo, featuring a classical exposition, development and recapitulation; the andante moderato, characterized by warm sonorities, accompanying melodies and wide-ranging cello lines; the quasi menuetto, a nod to the 18th century menuet; and finally, the allegro non assi, an exciting rhythmic ambiguity and explosive conclusion to the work.