Pizzicato, both elegant and brutal, is at the center of this one. Arguably the first “extended-technique” in music for bowed string instruments of the classical era, pizzicato highlights mood and rhythm, expands available colors in an artist’s palette, and is capable of bringing both dance-like lightness and explosive power to a composition.
In a season brimming with new work, we’re eager to present two of the cornerstones of the string quartet repertoire, with Beethoven’s inviting Quartet No. 10, Op. 74 “Harp” and Ravel’s euphoric String Quartet. The pizzicato passages that mark the second movement of the latter are a nod to both Javanese gamelan orchestration and fandango rhythms, and the nickname of the former speaks for itself.
For this century’s entry, we turn to a piece by one of the nicest (and most talented) guys in the biz, Dai Fujikura. We had the opportunity to work on this vivacious score with Dai this Fall at Bowling Green State University, and became fast friends. If past is prologue, the vigorous pizzicato interludes that bookend the piece are likely to cause the untimely demise of at least one of our strings.
Ravel - String Quartet in F major
Beethoven - String Quartet No. 10, Op. 74 "Harp"
Dai Fujikura - String Quartet No. 1 "Another Place"