love’s labours


A daunting sight for any string quartet!

Phew. This weekend is over. It seemed, on Thursday afternoon, that Monday would never, ever come. It’s been such a busy time for me over this past week, especially considering that it was the spring break week for the Oregon Symphony. But, as time during the season is relatively scant for doing outside musical projects (though we all do it, with pretty predictable effects upon both our minds and bodies), any open spaces are often pounced upon to provide time for other pursuits. In my case, and three of my colleagues, we were preparing for two major concerts this past weekend.

The Arnica Quartet rehearsing for the Marzena concert.

First was the Marzena concert of modern music on Friday night, which presented us with six works that we’d never even laid eyes upon, never mind performed before, including a world premiere of Bob Priest’s Third String Quartet.

The McTavish Room in Astoria's Liberty Theater.

Right on that concert’s heels was our concert at the Liberty Theater in Astoria (in the delightful upstairs McTavish Room, with its wonderful setting for chamber music) of three string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven: Op. 18/1, Op. 95, and Op. 130 with the Op. 133 Grosse Fugue finale. Because of the tight timeframe between the two concerts, we had to rehearse both at the same time, and with my leaving to go to Philadelphia for a week for a concert, it made for a less than optimal rehearsal schedule for the quartet. I owe them lots of espressos!

The Arnicans after a satisfying Beethoven concert in Astoria.

The good news is that both concerts went very well, and were received very well by the audiences. And we were pretty satisfied with how we played, too. So it was a weekend well spent, but now the four of us are also well spent, too!


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