Concert Tickets Are $25 At The Door   •   Students & Active Duty Military Can Attend For Free!

Review: Aeolus Quartet

Take a close look at our SA Chamber Music logo:  see the swirl?  Thanks to the Aeolus Quartet, who performed a concert for us last Sunday, January 22, the swirl makes perfect sense to me.  Like the Nike “swoosh” signifies speed and aerodynamics, the swirl is a wrap-around sound of beautiful music.  Now I’m not saying the Mozart Adagio and Fugue weren’t close to musical perfection, and I love almost anything Aaron Copeland ever wrote, but the Barber Quartet and the Schumann Quartet were pure – well – swirl.  These very young, very talented musicians created a Temple-filling swirl of sound that was really glorious.

These four who comprise the Aeolus have already made their musical mark in the concert halls of the world.  Only nine years old, they are reaching the top of quartet glory.  They use American-made instruments – most of which are even younger than they – and they create a sound that can only be described as luxurious.  When they performed the Barber, I thought, “I know what he meant.”  I’ve heard that second movement, the “Molto Adagio,” many times, but this time I really listened.  And it was beyond solemn.

These four who comprise the Aeolus have already made their musical mark in the concert halls of the world. Only nine years old, they are reaching the top of quartet glory.

As for the Schumann, which Mr. Tavani said they had only performed in concert four times, well it was one of those performances you’d hope would never end.   Pure swirl.  It’s amazing that four very young musicians could understand the ideas and feelings of a Nineteenth Century master.  Much of what we consider “classical music” – that is, music composed in the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries – is appreciated as beautiful, inspiring, uplifting and even thought-provoking, but Schumann’s composition as interpreted by Aeolus was all of that plus ethereal.  I kept thinking, “I wonder if they had a chance to chat with Schumann.  They seem to understand what he was saying.”  (Did I mention that I’m a big Schumann fan?)

So I hope you enjoyed that Aeolus concert as much as I did and will continue to enjoy the swirl that SA Chamber Music offers.  There are two more opportunities to experience it:  February 26 (Les Amies Trio) and April 23 (Calmus Ensemble).  And don’t forget you can use any of this season’s tickets or bonus tickets to bring a friend or two who could use a good swirl!

– E Doyle

Aeolus Quartet

Join us on Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Aeolus Quartet is committed to presenting time-seasoned masterworks and new cutting-edge works to widely diverse audiences with equal freshness, dedication, and fervor. Violinists Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violist Gregory Luce, and cellist Alan Richardson formed the Aeolus Quartet in 2008 at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Since its inception, the all-American quartet has been awarded prizes at nearly every major competition in the United States and performed across the globe. They were the 2013-2015 Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School, and they currently make their home in New York City.

The Aeolus Quartet are Grand Prizewinners of the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition and 2011 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. They were awarded First Prize at the 2009 Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition, a Silver Medal at the 2011 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, and a Bronze Medal at the 2010 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in New England. The 16th Annual Austin Critics’ Table named the Aeolus Quartet their 2010-2011 “Best Ensemble.” The Aeolus Quartet has released two critically acclaimed albums of classical and contemporary works through the Longhorn/Naxos label which are available on iTunes, Amazon, and major retailers worldwide.

The Quartet has performed across North America, Europe, and Asia in venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Reinberger Recital Hall at Severance Hall, Merkin Hall, The Library of Congress, Renwick Gallery, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center.

“…smoothly meshed technique with a sense of spontaneity and discovery…”

Baltimore Sun

“A rich and warm tone combined with precise ensemble playing (that managed also to come across as fluid and natural), and an impressive musical intelligence guided every technical and dramatic turn.” Mark Satola

Cleveland Plain Dealer

“…worthy of a major-league quartet…”

Scott Cantrell

Dallas Morning News

The Quartet is named for the Greek god Aeolus, who governed the four winds. This idea of a single spirit uniting four individual forces serves as an inspiration to the members of the Aeolus Quartet as they pursue their art.

Members:

Nicholas Tavani (violin)
Rachel Shapiro (violin)
Gregory Luce (viola)
Alan Richardson (cello)

Program

MOZART
Adagio & Fugue in C minor, K.546

COPLAND
“Two Pieces for String Quartet”

BARBER
Quartet in B Major, Op.11

-Intermission-

SCHUMANN
Quartet Op.11, No.3 in A Major

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

Portuguese Lesson

Now that you’ve enjoyed the Brasil Guitar Duo, it’s time for you to learn a little Portuguese. It’s a wonderfully melodious language as spoken in Brazil, and it’s perfect for poetry and music. Let’s start with vocabulary words:

Tranquilo  =

Translates to tranquil, but it has the added meanings  of peaceful, relaxed and quiet.   A wonderful example is the music performed on a pair of quiet, perfectly synchronized acoustic guitars.  You may have noticed that the audience was absolutely quiet, too.   You may have also noticed that Joao and Douglas performed without sheet music.  Como poderem facer isto?  How do they do that?!

Maravillosa!  =

The description of Sunday’s concert.  It means, of course, marvelous, but it carries a deeper meaning of pure joy.  For example, Rio is known to Brasileiros as cidade maravillosa, the jewel on the ocean where everything stops for a party.

Sambear =

to dance the samba, the non-stop, hip-swinging, national dance of the cidade maravillosa;  naturally, someone who dances samba (doesn’t everyone?) is a sambista.

Musica brasileiro =

is, as you may guess, Brazilian music (as if there were such an entity).  You experienced the music of two composers, Gismonti and Pereira,  that was anything but samba.  See?  These Brazilians are multi-faceted!  And you’ve probably heard “The Girl from Impanema” a few times, but there’s the soul-stirring sound of the Northeast  (o nordeste), guacho  music of the South (o sur) and the music and rhythms that were brought to Brazil from Africa and the Carribean.  Tudos som a musica brasilera.  (It’s all Brazilian music.)

Sodade =

the homesickness you feel for the cool, blue ocean; the beaches; the wonderfully creative people of Brazil; feijoada (a black bean stew packed with flavors) every Saturday; and two  innately talented gentlemen such as Joao Rezende and Douglas Lara who have incorporated the music of the world into their Brazilian sensibility.

Joia! =

jewel, as in this performance was a jewel and I’m so glad we had the experience of enjoying (see the connection??) this wonderful concert.

Bom partido =

the name of the award-winning CD that launched the careers of the Brasil Guitar Duo.  It means, literally, a good departure, but it implies a good start.  Indeed, it was.

Obrigado.

(Thanks for coming to the concert) e ate logo (and we’ll see you soon).

– E Doyle

Brasil Guitar Duo

Join us on Sunday, November 20, 2016

Brasil Guitar Duo, a 2006 winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and hailed by Classical Guitar magazine for its “maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity,” is equally at home on a classical or a world-music series. Its innovative programming features a seamless blend of traditional and Brazilian works, resulting in a full global touring schedule and a growing catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings. The Duo has appeared internationally on major concert series and at festivals in Cuba, Germany, England, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil, Austria, Panama, Poland, and Bermuda. Recent and upcoming U.S. engagements include recitals in such major venues as New York, Santa Barbara, Miami, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, St. Louis, Tucson, Portland, Nashville, San Jose, and Oakland.

Committed to performing new chamber music employing the guitar, the Duo joined cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto in the October 2014 world premiere of El arco y la lira, a work for two cellos and two guitars by the esteemed Cuban composer Leo Brouwer. On the same program—a highlight of the sixth annual Festival Leo Brouwer in Havana—the Duo gave the Cuban premiere of Brouwer’s Sonata de Los Viajeros, which they had presented in its U.S. premiere the previous month and recorded for a Naxos CD of Brouwer’s complete works for two guitars, scheduled for release in 2015.

Duo members João Luiz and Douglas Lora met in São Paulo as teenage guitar students and have been performing together for more than fifteen years. The Duo’s primary studies were with Henrique Pinto, Fabio Zanon, Paulo Martelli, Sergio Abreu, and Alice Artz.

“Brasil Guitar Duo’s long collaborative history is evident in the relationship that unfolds on stage. In fact, João Luiz and Douglas Lora have known each other since adolescence and have played together for over half of their lives. They are remarkably responsive to one another, needing hardly any eye contact, it seems.” Sarah Tyrrell

KCMetropolis.org

“…the Brasil Guitar Duo, comprised of João Luiz and Douglas Lora, delivered an impressive acoustic performance…” Léo Azambuja

For Kaua'i

Members:

João Luiz (guitar)
Douglas Lora (guitar)

Program

RAMEAU
Les Cyclopes

CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO
Prelude & Fugue

BROUWER
Sonata de Los Viajeros

-Intermission-

TORROBA
Madrilenas

GISMONTI (arr. Joao Luis)
Selected pieces

PEREIRA
Bate-Coxa

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

Great Danes

Great Danes. I know nothing at all about animals of the canine persuasion, absolutely nothing. But I met some Great Danes Sunday afternoon. Three of them, in fact, along with one Norwegian (just to provide variety, I guess), and they were Great! If you were at the SA Chamber Music concert last Sunday – and about 300 of you were – you heard something you would never have expected to hear from Great Danes!
If you were at the SA Chamber Music concert last Sunday – and about 300 of you were – you heard something you would never have expected to hear from Great Danes!

To be more precise, these particular Great Danes made up the Danish String Quartet and I have to admit, humbly, that the music they performed was unfamiliar to me; this is a situation I will remedy. I don’t think I’ve ever heard glissandos performed in perfect time and harmony by four stringed instruments, or syncopations so precisely measured. And that was just the first selection, “Swans Kissing.” The Shostakovich was, as promised, dark and a little scary in parts, but I was thinking about the era and surroundings in which it was written. The Great Danes — beg pardon: the Danish String Quartet — took us back to a tragic era in history when a composer could be hauled away to no-man’s land for expressing his feelings and talent. It was a dark time indeed.

But the Quartet livened up the program after intermission with a delightful selection of Scandinavian folk music. They practically danced through the joyful jigs and polkas of the not-so-frozen north. Did the music sound a little like the hornpipes and bagpipes of Denmark’s neighbors to you? I thought so and fully expected someone to break into a reel. Oh well, we know Great Danes don’t dance. Or do they?

I hope you’re looking forward to enjoying the music of a different part of the world at the November 20th concert. Brazil, Cuba, Spain, Italy, France: all with wonderful musical traditions and interpreted by a pair of world-class classical guitarists, the Brasil Guitar Duo.

Meanwhile, think about the remarkable program you’ve just heard and the four young, globe-trotting virtuosos who performed it. They may call themselves the Danish String Quartet, but I will think of them as the Great Danes.

– E Doyle

Post-Concert Dinner at Paesanos

Danish String Quartet

Coming to San Antonio on October 23, 2016

“Here’s a simpler story of the quartet:
 We are three Danes and one Norwegian cellist, making this a truly Scandinavian endeavor. We are often joking about ourselves being modern Vikings – perhaps a touch more harmless than our ancestors – we are not pillaging cities or razing the English coastline!

The three of us met very early in our lives in the Danish countryside at a summer camp for enthusiastic amateur musicians. Not yet teenagers, we were the youngest players, so we hung out all the time playing football and chamber music together. During the regular school year we would get together often to play music and just have fun. We became best friends. In 2001, professor Tim Frederiksen of The Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen got in touch with us and started coaching us on a regular basis. All of the sudden, at the ages of 15 and 16, we were a serious string quartet. It all happened so fast that none of us seemed to notice the transition.

“Among all the dauntingly good young string quartets currently doing the rounds, the Danish String Quartet stands out: not because they’re shinier or plusher or pushier than the rest, but because of their nimble charisma, stylish repertoire and the way their light and grainy shading can turn on a dime.” Kate Molleson

The Guardian

Time passed and we grew up. We were enrolled at The Royal Academy of Music and our life as music students had begun. None of us have any memory of our lives without the string quartet. In 2008 Norwegian cellist Fredrik joined in. We found him hidden away in a castle outside Stockholm. During his free time, Fredrik can be found fixing or sailing his sailboat somewhere in Scandinavia.
The rest of us spend time with different hobbies – old cars, cooking, gaming, reading, playing, talking, and drinking. Yes, playing string quartets is our job, and yes it is hard work, but we mostly do it for pleasure, like we always did.
There is so much amazing music to delve into, and our hope is to continue our travels through life and music together as a quartet. And if all goes well, around 2060 we will beat the world record for longest running string quartet. On that day we will host a giant feast – you shall all be invited!”

Rune, Asbjørn, Fredrik and Frederik

Members:

Asbjørn Nørgaard (viola)
Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen (violin)
Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin  (cello)
Frederik Øland (violin)

Program

WALLIN
Swans Kissing

SHOSTAKOVICH
Quartet No.15

-Intermission-

Folk music from the Nordic countries

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

Pin It on Pinterest