Concert Review: Excellence by St. Lawrence Quartet

The St. Lawrence String Quartet is the resident string quartet at Stanford University. I have attended their concerts for many years.

On Sunday afteroon, May 1, 2016 they performed a totally wonderful program of music at the Bing Concert Hall on the Stanford campus.

This afternoon’s performance was outstanding. The ensemble, the balance, and the energy that these four performance brought to the music were really outstanding. Their devotion and love for the music came through!


For several concerts this group has devoted at least one selection to the music of Joseph Haydn, and today’s concert was no exception. We heard an amazing reading of Haydn’s Quartet Op. 20 number 4. I found the second movement particularly enjoyable from a composition standpoint: This movement begins with four variations on a theme. But one has to wait until the end of the movement to hear the simple theme itself on which the previous variations were composed. That is typical creativity on the part of Haydn!

Other works on the program were:

  • Leos Janacek’s string quartet number one (The Kreutzer Sonata)
  • Robert Schumann’s String Quartet Op. 41, number 3.

The enthusiastic audience received a gift from the players in the form of an encore: Haydn’s second movement from the quartet Op. 20, number 5.

Here are these fine musicians in Haydn’s Quartet Op. 76, number 3:

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