Pacifica String Quartet

January 13, 2015 8:00 pm The Vancouver Playhouse

We have just received news that there has been a change in the programme for the Pacifica Quartet’s performance with Menahem Pressler on Tuesday January 13th. Sadly, Menahem Pressler is no longer able to attend the performance. We wish him well and look forward to seeing him next time.

We are pleased to announce that the Pacifica Quartet, a fine ensemble who are making their debut with us, will perform a complete programme for our pleasure. The first half of the programme will remain the same, and instead of Dvořák’s piano quintet, you will hear Ludwig van Beethoven’s string quartet in E minor, Opus 59 Number 2, after the intermission. This piece is one of the three musically adventurous Opus 59 “Razumovsky” quartets. An audience favourite we haven’t had the pleasure of hearing since three years ago and are excited to be hearing again!

Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often daring repertory choices, for two decades the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. In 2006, they won an Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2009 Musical America named them Ensemble of the Year. Playing Dvořák, a defining program highlight, you will hear features of traditional Czech folk elevated to high art.

New Programme:
Franz Joseph Haydn
Quartet in B flat major, Opus 76 No.4

Dmitri Shostakovich
Quartet No.9 in E flat, Opus 117

Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet in E minoir, Opus 59 No.2

Insight into Beethoven’s Opus 59:
Beethoven’s three “Razumovsky” string quartets left both their first performers and the public shocked and suspicious. The violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh, whose quartet premiered the Opus 59 works, complained they were unreasonably difficult. After playing the opening solo from the second movement of the first of the three quartets, cellist Bernhard Romberg threw his music to the ground and stamped on it. What sort of sorry substitute for a tune was this? How insulting to give a cellist of his stature such a banal rhythm, the sort of thing anyone could tap out with a pencil! Meanwhile, the violinist Felix Radicati is said to have complained these were “not music”.
“They are not for you, but for a later age”, Beethoven told his critics.

–Edward Dusinberre of the Takács Quartet