Escher String Quartet & Dover Quartet
Saturday, September 28, 2019 | 8:00 pm
Duke Performances’ Chamber Arts Series subscription and single tickets, including $10 Duke student tickets, are now on sale. Subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased online, via phone at 919-684-4444, and in person at the Duke University Box Office, Tuesday through Friday, 11 AM to 6 PM.
The Escher and Dover quartets — two of the brightest chamber music constellations in America today — share the stage for a rare all-octet program. Both have assembled an impressive number of awards and residencies, and have been lauded for musical maturity that belies their youth: The Escher is “one of the major string quartets playing today” (Bachtrack), and the Dover is “the young American string quartet of the moment” (The New Yorker). This is an exceptional chance to hear their potent forces combined.
The ensembles will perform a program of three works for string octet, each composed by a teenage musical prodigy. Shostakovich’s “Two Pieces” shows the brilliance of the 18-year-old composer before his musical imagination became restricted by ideological entanglements with the Soviet Communist Party. The 19-year-old Enescu’s tour de force combines traditional forms with untraditional chromaticism. Mendelssohn’s piece — perhaps the best known and well loved of all string octets — was composed when he was only 16.
Shostakovich: Prelude & Scherzo: Two Pieces for String Octet, op. 11
Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat Major, op. 20
Enescu: Octet for Strings in C Major, op. 7
“[The Escher String Quartet’s] performances were superb, their concentration and stamina especially remarkable.”