Emerson String Quartet
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Our Chamber Arts Series opens with a final visit from the Emerson String Quartet, a group that has been at the forefront of chamber music-making across the globe for the best part of a half century. With more than 30 acclaimed recordings, nine GRAMMY Awards, three Gramophone Awards and an Avery Fisher Prize to their name, this year the American quartet bids adieu to the concert stage.
On their farewell tour, the Emersons will bring a range of classic quartets, opening with Mendelssohn's passionate String Quartet No. 2, a work significantly influenced by the late string quartets of another featured composer on the program: Beethoven. The final of Beethoven's trio of late string quartets - and the composer's personal favorite - is thought to be one of his most original and ambitious, with shifting chromaticism and contrapuntal movement. Sandwiched in between these two works is Debussy's only string quartet, the only piece to which he ever attributed an opus number and designated a key. Despite its conventional form, however, the work is full of Debussy's trademark impressionistic tonal shifts.