Sound Thoughts on Art
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A Note on the Program
This program is a celebration of joy and the human spirit. Beethoven’s Op. 74, nicknamed the “Harp” for the celestial pizzicati that ripple through the quartet in the first movement, showcases the famously brooding and stormy composer at his most tender and lyrical. Ali-Zadeh’s rousing Rǝqs, composed for the Kronos Quartet’s “50 for the Future” project, was inspired by the rich cultural dance heritage of her native Azerbaijan. We offer Max Richter’s On the nature of daylight, written in 2003 as a protest against the violence of war, as our own prayer of hope for peace and healing in difficult times. We’ll close the afternoon with Mendelssohn’s Op. 44 No. 3—a vibrant and jubilant work reminiscent of his beloved Octet. At turns spritely, soulful, and boisterous, this quartet is filled with the youthful energy and elegant sweetness that are the hallmarks of Mendelssohn’s voice.
The Ulysses Quartet has been praised for their “textural versatility,” “grave beauty” and “the kind of chemistry many quartets long for, but rarely achieve” (The Strad), as well as their “avid enthusiasm ... [with] chops to back up their passion” (San Diego Story), “delivered with a blend of exuberance and polished artistry” (The Buffalo News). Founded in the summer of 2015, the group won the grand prize and gold medal in the senior string division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition. At Juilliard, they are the Lisa Arnhold Fellows, serving as the School’s Graduate Resident String Quartet, an appointment that has been extended through May 2022. The quartet’s members hail from Canada, the United States, and Taiwan.
Christina Bouey, violin
Rhiannon Banerdt, violin
Colin Brookes, viola
Grace Ho, cello
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74, “Harp” (1809)
Poco adagio – Allegro
Adagio, ma non troppo
Presto – Più presto quasi prestissimo
Allegretto con variazioni – Un poco più vivace – Allegro
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh (b. 1947)
Rǝqs (Dance) (2015)
Max Richter (1966)
On the nature of daylight (2003) (arr.by Christina Bouey)
Felix Mendelssohn (1809 - 1847)
Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 44, No. 3 (1838)
Scherzo. Assai leggiero vivace
Adagio non troppo
Molto allegro con fuoco
This concert is generously supported by The Gottesman Fund in memory of Milton M. Gottesman.