Saturday, October 17, 2015 | 8:00 pm
Characterized by “intense focus and a striking unanimity of gesture” (The New York Times), Cuarteto Casals is the first Spanish string quartet to achieve a genuinely international profile. They visit Duke with a program of three treasures of the standard repertoire, rendered with their unmistakable brand of bold and expressive playing.
Mozart’s Quartet K. 387 was the first of his six “Haydn Quartets,” a cycle in which the composer heralded a shift toward increased chromaticism by integrating some of Haydn’s vocabulary into his style. The Financial Times raves that the Casals’ interpretations of these quartets are “bold in contrasts and almost Beethovenian in their mettlesome thrust.” The Mozart is followed by Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 5, a work which finds the composer in trademark form, equal parts sardonic, savage, and charming. The concert concludes with Ravel’s String Quartet in F, originally intended as an application to the Conservatoire de Paris (he was rejected) and now acknowledged as one of the great works of impressionism in any medium.
Mozart: String Quartet No. 14 in G Major, K. 387 (“Spring”)
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 5 in B-flat Major, op. 92
Ravel: String Quartet in F Major