Emerson String Quartet
Saturday, April 2, 2016 | 8:00 pm
The Emerson String Quartet have been lauded as “the one indispensible quartet” (Newsday). In their forty-year career they have made unparalleled contributions to American chamber music, amassed thirty recordings, nine GRAMMYs, and received induction into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. They are frequent guests of the Chamber Arts Society, most recently having come to Duke Performances in 2013, when they were newly energized by the addition of cellist Paul Watkins.
The evening’s program begins with Haydn’s tuneful “Emperor” Quartet, followed by Bartók’s densely beautiful Fourth Quartet, the five movements of which form a palindrome of tempo and intensity imbued with Hungarian folk tunes. Schubert’s posthumously-published Quartet in G is a fitting culmination not only of this concert, but also the 2015/16 Chamber Arts Series. This work finds the composer deeply engaged with modal mixture and slippery modulations. The effect is a winding, sometimes disorienting, and ultimately satisfying journey — a crowning achievement of First Viennese School chamber music.
Haydn: String Quartet No. 3 in C Major, op. 76 (“Emperor”)
Bartók: String Quartet No. 4 in C Major, Sz. 91
Schubert: String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D. 887