Dover Quartet

October 20, 2015 8:00pm The Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St.

Please join us in welcoming The Dover Quartet – dubbed as the young American string quartet of the moment by the New Yorker – to our stage for the first time!

The Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, becoming one of the most in-demand classical ensembles in the world. In 2013-14, the Quartet became the first ever Quartet-in-Residence for the venerated Curtis Institute of Music, and are now Quartet-in-Residence at Northwestern University in Chicago. During the 2014-15 season, the Dover Quartet performed more than 100 concerts throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe.

Members of the Quartet have appeared as soloists with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic. Furthermore, the Quartet is dedicated to sharing their music with underserved communities and is an active member of Music for Food, an initiative to help musicians fight hunger in their home communities.

“Confident, sinewy playing of distinctive sound and ample nuance…brilliantly done…terrific quartet.” –National Post

“These young musicians play with remarkable attentiveness and an astonishingly even tone, as if they were four limbs of one instrument.” –Montreal Gazette

“…the Dover Quartet players have it in them to become the next Guarneri String Quartet — they’re that good. Expert musicianship, razor-sharp ensemble, deep musical feeling and a palpable commitment to communication made their performances satisfying on many levels.” –Chicago Tribune (October 9, 2015)

Programme:

Antonín Dvořák
Quartet in F Major, Opus 96 “American”

Alban Berg
String Quartet, Opus 3 (1910)

Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet in F Major, Opus 59 No.1

In 1893, Antonín Dvořák wrote his “American” quartet, which shows a distinct American influence. In the quartet, Dvořák characterized his impressions of American folk music, not using direct quotations writing in the spirit of American folk melodies. It reveals his depth of feeling, the resourcefulness of his technique, and his boundless imagination. Subtle contrasts of texture and tone colour, along with melodic charm combine to make his Opus 96 quartet one of his finest works.

Alban Berg wrote his quartet in Vienna in the spring of 1910, at the end of his studies with Arnold Schoenberg. On the borderline of atonality, it is a complicated construction of themes and motifs combined contrapuntally. The two movements, slow and moderately slow, are closely interrelated, and the musical materials of both movements are intermixed.

Beethoven’s three Opus 59 quartets were commissioned in 1802 by the Russian ambassador, Count Razumovsky, and finished in 1806. The Count requested that Beethoven include some Russian themes, which he did in the Finale of the first quartet. All four movements of Opus 59 No. 1 are written in sonata or modified sonata form. Reactions to the Opus 59 quartets were the harshest that Beethoven ever received. When he was asked, “Surely, you do not consider this music?”, Beethoven replied, “Not for you, but for a later age”. And he was right, because now this is dearly beloved music.

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