Today, Sunday, February 15, 2015 at 2pm, the Arnica String Quartet will play three wonderful American string quartets at the University of Portland Buckley Center Auditorium in a concert to benefit AllClassical Portland. Suggested donation is $10. Cash, checks, or credit/debit cards accepted. Come and join the Arnica Quartet in a concert of great music, supporting a great resource, Portland’s classical music station, building cultural community in Portland and beyond. Details are available at the Arnica Quartet’s website.
Initial press listed the venue as the Mago Hunt Recital Hall, but the event was moved to the Buckley Center Auditorium in order to provide more seating for supporters of AllClassical Portland. We hope to see you there this afternoon!
We’re really excited about this one! Half of the Arnica Quartet (Charles & Heather) join with two of their oldest friends and former quartet mates: Timothy Schwarz, now of the Serafin Quartet and violin professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania – formerly of the ancient Arcadia Quartet with Charles and Heather; and Denise Dillenbeck (neé Huizenga), formerly a member of the Oregon Symphony and the Ethos Quartet with Charles and Heather, and a regular substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Seattle Symphony. We’re reuniting to play some of our favorite works, including the Shostakovich Quintet for piano and strings in G minor with pianist Susan DeWitt Smith, selections from Antonin Dvorak’s Cypresses for string quartet, and Beethoven’s late, great Op. 127 string quartet in E-flat major.
Tickets are available by calling the Old Church office at 503-222-2031, through their website, or via brownpapertickets.
As I was listening to a portion of the Kairos Ensemble rehearsing for tonight’s upcoming benefit concert for Portland’s Phame Academy, I was struck (again) by just how great Mozarts quintets for strings (two violins, two violas, and cello) are. They are doing his great D major, K. 593 quintet, which I had the pleasure of performing at the Tanglewood Music Center for my last chamber ensemble performance there (more on that in a future post). There are quite a few recordings of the Mozart string quintets, but few great ones. There are really two recordings in the non-HIP (historically-informed performance) tradition, a set by the Guarneri Quartet (with guest violists Steven Tenenbom, Kim Kashkashian, and Ani & Ida Kavafian) which is finally available on an Arkivemusic.com CD (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3) and the great complete set by the great Belgiqn violinist Arthur Grumiaux and friends, which is available as an Amazon download and on CD.
There is such a suave, Gallic sensibility to how Grumiaux and his ensemble play these great works of Mozart, and in particular the slow movements. I think that the slow movement of the K. 593 quintet might be one of the greatest of the many that Mozart wrote (including those of his other quintets, in particular the great pair of K. 515 in C major and K. 516 in g minor) – it is quite perfect in a way that no one other than JS Bach quite achieved. Take a listen: