The String Quartet at a Time of War: Benjamin Britten and His Contemporaries
Saturday, December 14, 2013
For two decades these five musicians, scholars and friends have brought together a devoted crowd of chamber music enthusiasts on Saturday mornings that are part concert, part lecture, part humor and all entertainment. Followers on both sides of the Bay indulge in deep exploration of composers, their works, times and impacts in one of SF Performances most popular and enduring series. These enlightening two-hour sessions, designed and written by Robert Greenberg, open with Mr. Greenberg’s musical and historical insights about the composers and their work, liberally peppered with his incisive wit and expansive insights, and conclude with complete performances of the repertoire by the ASQ.
World War II (1939-1945) was the single most harrowing and devastating event of the twentieth century. Framed by the string quartets of Benjamin Britten, whose centennial will be celebrated in 2013, this series will explore works that reflect the broader European experience of the War years, as well as the period immediately before (Program 1) and after (Program 4). Aside from Britten’s superb quartets, the series will feature some of the most important string quartets composed during the twentieth century, including quartets by Pavel Haas (who perished in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944), Béla Bartók, William Walton and Dmitri Shostakovich.
BARTÓK: Quartet No. 6
BRITTEN: Quartet No. 1