Maverick and Tannery Pond Concerts Highlight St. Lawrence String Quartet
As we near the end of August, this may be the catch up weekend for opera lovers to take in the regional offerings of the final weekend of the Glimmerglass Festival and the inaugural production of the Berkshire Opera Festival. If, however, you’ve had your fill of opera and are looking for something more intimate in the way of chamber music, then the Maverick Concerts and Tannery Pond Concerts series have an interesting line up for you. In particular, the highly acclaimed St. Lawrence String Quartet [Geoff Nuttal and Owen Dalby, violins; Lesley Robertson, viola; and Christopher Costanza, 'cello] returns to the region for two performances.
If you are unfamiliar with the St. Lawrence String Quartet (a.k.a. SLSQ), they have been around for a while. Coming together in 1989, they are now a revered Canadian export. The SLSQ has developed an undisputed reputation as one of the world’s great ensembles. Called “witty, buoyant, and wickedly attentive” (The Gazette, Montréal), with a “peerless” sense of ensemble (Financial Times, London), the quartet is celebrated for its “smoldering intensity” (Washington Post), and “flexibility, dramatic fire and… hint of rock ‘n’ roll energy” (LA Times). When the SLSQ is not jet-setting around the world giving performances, they serve as Ensemble-in-Residence at Stanford University in California.
The St. Lawrence String Quartet has nurtured a reputation for imaginative and spontaneous music-making and have embraced new works by composers such as John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Ezequiel Vinao, and their Stanford colleague Jonathan Berger. They also have an deep commitment to the great established string quartet literature, which is demonstrated through the special attention the SLSQ has paid to Franz Josef Haydn with a series of “Haydn Discovery” programs in which the foursome explores and unpacks the composer’s string quartets from various perspectives and then performs the works in their entirety. [In the video below, violinist Geoff Nuttall, who has been hailed as “the Jon Stewart of chamber music” (New York Times), leads the SLSQ in a Discovery performance of the “Emperor” Quartet for a Da Camera of Houston audience].
So in a nutshell, that’s the St. Lawrence String Quartet. If you’d like, you can take in the SLSQ twice this weekend. On Friday night, they will be performing for Maverick’s “Music in the Woods” series with the following program:
- F. Josef Haydn — String Quartet No. 3 in G minor, Op. 20, No. 3
- John Adams — String Quartet No. 2 (composed in 2014 for SLSQ)
- Robert Schumann — String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41, No. 3
On Saturday evening, the St. Lawrence String Quartet performs in the intimate Tannery at the Darrow School for Tannery Pond Concerts.
- F. Josef Haydn — String Quartet in G minor, Op. 20, No. 3
- John Adams — Second Quartet No. 2 (composed in 2014 for SLSQ)
- Osvaldo Golijov — Qohelet (composed in 2011 for SLSQ)
- F. Josef Haydn — String Quartet in C Major, Op. 20, No. 2
While I am not sure if the Haydn quartets will be “unpacked” at length on the Tannery Pond concert, I understand the SLSQ will “unpack” Hadyn’s String Quartet No. 3 in G minor, Op. 20, No. 3 for the Maverick concert program. If you can’t do both concerts, perhaps that will help you decide which one you attend.
Whether you are catching the last bit of live opera of the summer or feasting on chamber music, I wish you happy musicking this weekend!
Friday, September 2nd 2016 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, September 3rd 2016 at 6:00 pm
Saturday, September 3rd 2016 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, September 17th 2016 at 6:00 pm
Saturday, October 15th 2016 at 7:30 pm