pale blue dot

 

We’re excited to present a fantastic new piece by David Ludwig to our Salem audience next month (click here for details).

The genesis of his String Quartet No. 1 “Pale Blue Dot” arose from David’s musing on the Voyager I mission, which produced one of the iconic images of mankind, which became known popularly as the Pale Blue Dot photo.

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You can see the earth contained in the circle above (click on image to enlarge).

One of the other aspects of the Voyager I mission was to send a collection of images, sounds, music, and information about the human race. Among these was a recording of the Cavatina movement from Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130, played by the Budapest String Quartet. There is a brief, spectral quotation of the beginning of the Cavatina in this new quartet.

Of local interest to chamber music fans, Pale Blue Dot was written for the brilliant Dover String Quartet, which has been in residence at Chamber Music Northwest the past few seasons. Below is a recent performance of Pale Blue Dot by the Dover Quartet at the Curtis Institute of Music, where they are the quartet-in-residence.

You can read much more about Ludwig’s inspiration and composition of this new quartet on his blog.

Two concerts added for Winter 2016

We’re excited to get our 2015-2016 season to its belated start! We’re doing two performances in February and March, with a possible third if a suitable performance space is found.

On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, we’ll play on the University of Portland’s Music at Midweek series at the Mago Hunt Recital Hall. The concert is free to the public, and begins at 12:30 p.m., and lasts just under an hour. See our Upcoming Concerts page for more information. We’ll be performing Beethoven’s very first completed quartet, the Quartet in D major, Op. 18 No. 3. Then we’ll conclude the concert with Shostakovich’s String Quartet No 2 in A major, Op. 68.

On Sunday, March 13, 2016, we’ll be in Salem, Oregon for the Camerata Musica series at the Salem Public Library. This concert is also free to the public, and begins at 2:30 p.m. We’ll play the Beethoven and Shostakovich quartets mentioned above, and conclude the concert with David Ludwig’s Pale Blue Dot, a wonderful piece which begins in a very surprising way! You might even say it’s out of this world…

arnica joins acclaimed soprano on ‘night songs’ vocal concert

Soprano Janice Johnson
Soprano Janice Johnson

We’ll be joining a stellar cast of Portland musicians who will be supporting acclaimed soprano Janice Johnson and pianist Kira Whiting in their vocal recital entitled “Night Songs“, on Wednesday, November 4 at 7pm, at Grace Memorial Episcopal Church (1535 NE 17th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97232). We’ll be performing Chausson’s Chanson Perpétuelle. Cellist David Eby also performs. The program also features works of Brahms, Hahn, Marx, and Debussy.

thanks for a great season!

Last night we played Beethoven’s monumental Grosse Fuga, Op. 133 as part of the Going Boldly in Lake Oswego concert presented by Cascadia Composers. It was a fantastic concert organized by Linda Woody, who also had a world premiere (Elegy for a Dead Soldier) on the program. It was a fantastic audience, and we were in good company with many excellent local performers on the bill before us.

Believe it or not, this is the end of our ninth season together. Next year is our 10th anniversary season, and while plans are still being made, I can promise a fair amount of Beethoven will feature, and a variety of other composers as well. We’ll see you in the fall!

UPDATE: You can find a video of our Grosse Fugue performance on our Sights & Sounds page.

coming soon: american string quartets

We just returned from Tacoma, Washington, where we played our American String Quartets concert to great audience acclaim (yes, you can program 21st century music and people will like it!) on the fantastic Second City Chamber Series; and Portland, you will get your chance to hear it on Sunday, February 15th at 2:00 pm at the University of Portland’s (5000 N. Willamette Blvd) Buckley Center Auditorium.

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(L-R) Samuel Barber, Daniel Ott, Kenji Bunch

We’ll be performing Samuel Barber’s String Quartet, Op. 11, with its gorgeous adagio (it’s original setting), written all the way back in 1936. Oregon native and newly returned from Brooklyn composer Kenji Bunch will be on hand to introduce his String Quartet No. 2 “Concussion Theory”, based upon the Dust Bowl period (during which the Barber was written, by the way) in the American midwest. Finally, we present one of the major new quartets of the new century, Daniel Ott’s String Quartet No. 2. It just so happens that Dan is a alumnus (Class of 1997) of the Curtis Institute of Music, where Barber was once a student (Class of 1934). It will be a fantastic concert, and we hope that we will sell out the concert!

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Admission is by a suggested donation of $10, with all the proceeds benefitting AllClassical.org, Portland’s 24-hour classical music station and amazing community resource, building cultural community in Portland and beyond.