The efficiency began with a completely beautiful String Quartet No. 2 in D Main by Borodin. The Allegro moderato was performed with a singing tone by first violinist Philip Setzer, whereas the Scherzo: Allegro had a extra dance-like side. The plaintive Noctturno: Andante could be very acquainted to everybody, however I beloved how uniform the taking part in was, how the solo line began with the cello and moved in flip to the opposite musicians. The quartet is clearly tight and it’s fantastic to listen to the 4 voices mix so elegantly. The Finale: Andante; Vivace was brilliant and collectively.
Subsequent was Barber’s String Quartet in B Minor, Opus 11, which I’ve by no means heard however nonetheless has themes within the center motion Molto adagio that reappear within the well-known Adagio for Strings. There was a sure strident high quality to outer actions — Molto allegro e appassionato and Molto allegro (come prima) –, and an attention-grabbing “buzziness” to the music.
After the intermission got here Bartók’s String Quartet No. 1, Sz. 40, beginning with a lyrical Lento. The primary violinist was switched to Eugene Drucker, who performed gracefully. I loved the aptly named Poco a poco accelerando all’allegretto, the chromaticism sounded lush and the adjustments in dynamics had been distinct. The Introduzione: Allegro; Allegro vivace at occasions appeared like a swarm of wasps nearly, and there was one thing quite transferring about every of the musicians taking part in a selected line after which taking part in in unison.
The encore was a Bach chorale, with Philip Setzer again as first violinist. It was a peaceful, meditative approach to finish the night.
* Tattling *
The Emerson String Quartet is disbanding subsequent 12 months, which is why I used to be prompted to listen to the group, as I’ve not heard them since 2009. I’ve a mushy spot for this quartet as their recording of Full Beethoven String Quartets was one of many first chamber music CDs I ever bought.
One of many ushers carried round a “Put on Your Masks” enroll and down the aisles earlier than curtain. Folks had been good about retaining them on all through the efficiency. There have been no digital disturbances famous, solely a dropped program and some coughs.