On Sunday, October 19, 2014 I attended a delightful concert by the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The group has been the resident quartet at Stanford University for the past 25 years.
During this period, the quartet has been involved in coaching both individual players and groups, they have given concerts in the local Northern California area, and they have travelled extensively to perform elsewhere.
In addition, the St; Lawrence Quartet has strong relationships with living composers, and this year’s anniversary celebration features three premier performances.
On last night’s program we got to hear the following:
- Joseph Haydn: String Quartet Op. 9, number 4.
- Jonathan Berger: String quartet #6 (Swallow)
Several factors stood out for me during this concert:
The lovely Haydn quartet, though clearly an early work already shows us some of the magic of Haydn that would follow in years to come. The slow movement of this particular quartet made it possible for us to hear the wonderful third movement titled “Adagio-Cantabile”. And even though I was sitting in the Choral seating behind the quartet, I clearly heard the magical sound of Geoff Nuttal’s amazing violin made by Samuel Zygmuntowicz of Brooklyn, New York.
The second work on the program was Berger’s quartet #4. The work was composed in memory of the composer’s brother, and I really enjoyed the Lento movement, which expressed this memorial.
The final work was the great String Quintet in C-Major by Franz Schubert. As was the case in the Haydn, one instrument was particularly glorious in this performance. This was the playing and the instrument of David Finckel. Even in sections of this work where Mr. Finckel played Pizzicato (plucking the string), the warmth of his tone was shining through this music.
Here is the SLSQ plays Haydn Quartet in G major Op. 77, No. 1:
And next, here is Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major, D. 956:
Tags: Franz Schubert, Joseph Haydn, St. Lawrence string quartet, jonathan Berger, Jeoff Nuttal, David Finckel