arnica quartet noontime concert today

If you’re free at midday today, I invite you to a free concert that my string quartet is giving as part of the University of Portland’s Music at Midweek series.

We’ll be playing Beethoven’s first completed quartet (the Op 18, no. 3) and Shostakovich’s first mature string quartet, his Second Quartet.

The concert begins at 12:30 and will last just over an hour. Admission is free to all.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 @ 12:30 p.m.

Music at Midweek
Mago Hunt Recital Hall
University of Portland
5000 N. Willamette Blvd
Portland, OR 97203 [map]
FREE ADMISSION

Beethoven String Quartet in D major, Op. 18 No. 3
Shostakovich String Quartet No. 2 in A major , Op. 68

artemis quartet – check them out!

I have loved the Artemis Quartet (based in Berlin) for quite some time, and their new Beethoven cycle recording is phenomenal. Here’s a little taste:

beethoven 9 – a few of our favorite things

We’re in the second year of the Oregon Symphony’s annual Ode to Joy New Year’s Eve gala, and – in the viola section, at least – there is no sign of any of us being tired of playing Beethoven 9. In fact, in our rehearsal for the work this year, we found ourselves sharing our favorite spots with each other – and making it to our viola section facebook page! I thought that this would be a great way to start out 2015 in my blog – so here are the Oregon Symphony viola section’s favorite passages in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

First Movement:

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I like the sudden appearance of D major after a lot of very serious and dark D minor – you can see the F-sharp at the bottom of the double stop chord at the end of this passage. I think it sounds like every star in the heavens lighting up at the same time. Chills!
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Kenji Bunch’s favorite spot is later on in the 1st movement, where things get really hot and heavy. It features the two lowest notes on the instrument, played fortissimo, and in our version, with two down bows. Very satisfying to play!

Second Movement

Both Brian Quincey and Viorel Russo like the trio of the second movement. Vio likes the legato line that we play in the second part of the trio. Brian likes the first part of the trio, where the woodwinds play. Brian mostly just likes rests, I think.
Both Brian Quincey and Viorel Russo like the trio of the second movement. Vio likes the legato line that we play in the second part of the trio. Brian likes the first part of the trio, where the woodwinds play. Brian mostly just likes rests, I think.

Third Movement

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Jen Arnold’s favorite spot is the gorgeous melody given to the violas (supplemented by the 2nd violins) in the 3rd movement. She would like to play it a more Romantic style than our music director prefers, but she still likes it anyway.

Fourth Movement

Leah Ilem loves this part - it is very fun to play, and the huge crescendo at the beginning is fantastic.
Leah Ilem loves this part – it is very fun to play, and the huge crescendo at the beginning is fantastic.
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Principal violist Joël Belgique loves this whole passage, but especially the highlighted spot, which just happens to be the exact same pitches as the opening of his favorite viola concerto, Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher. Jawohl!