chamber music
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Anniversary Reminiscences Program: American String Quartet

July 08
6:00 pm
$65
Add to calendar
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30 minute hold in cart

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chamber music
02

Anniversary Reminiscences Program: American String Quartet

July 08
6:00 pm
$65

Add to calendar
01

30 minute hold in cart

07
06
06
06
PROGRAM
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BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in F major, op. 135
SHOSTAKOVICH: String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat minor, op. 138
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RAVEL: String Quartet in F major

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Longtime Aspen alumni artists curate bespoke programs to share music, reminiscences, and stories of their decades in Aspen.

Recognized by The New York Times for “luxurious, beautifully sculptured performances,” and by the Los Angeles Times for its “passion, precision and interpretive smarts in near perfect synchrony,” the American String Quartet celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Beethoven’s final quartet was the last major work he composed, only a few months before his death. Smaller in scale, playful and often Haydnesque, it also contains one of the most sublime and poignant slow movements ever written.

Shostakovich dedicated each of his quartets nos. 11-14 to a member of the Beethoven Quartet. The 13th was a 70th birthday gift to the retired violist, whose student dubbed it a “hymn to the viola.” It’s intense, dark, and mysterious, demanding the kind of expressiveness for which the dedicatee was known. Alan George, violist with the Fitzwilliam Quartet, calls the work “a harrowing experience for all involved; many listeners have been truly frightened by it, and even the most resilient emotional temperament could hardly fail to be at least uncomfortably disturbed by it. I may as well throw my interpretive hat into the ring and posit that the ending strikes me as a painful but ultimately equivocal - search for unity.”

There’s nothing scary about the program’s final work - except maybe the pressure the composer experienced when he wrote it. Ravel was still a student at Faure’s conservatory when he entered his quartet into a competition for the prestigious Rome Prize. It won neither the contest nor his teacher’s praise. However, with its brilliant transformations of color, rhythmic inventiveness,and Far East influences, all within a traditional structure, it went on to become one of the most beloved works in the quartet repertoire.

Hear one of the world’s outstanding quartets as they celebrate 48 years of music-making in Aspen!

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With special thanks to the Hyde Family, in memory of Mary Ann Hyde
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