Program Notes

November 30, 2023 by
Bartók’s String Quartet No. 1 opens with a yearning lament, which Bartók calls his “funeral dirge.” Its three movements are played without pause while the tempo grows faster and faster, culminating in a lively dance that led Kodály to describe the piece as a “return to life.” An environment of conversation pervades the piece.
November 30, 2023 by
Bartók’s Second Quartet, like his first, has three movements, but they are not continuous, and the narrative arc is also different: a moderately-paced opening leads to a lively multi-sectioned dance movement in which we hear the percussive sounds, relentless rhythms, and narrow-ranged melodies that Bartók remembered from Algeria.
November 29, 2023 by
The Borromeo Quartet’s exciting Bartók project offers Guarneri Hall audiences an opportunity to “glimpse into the composer’s mind as it moves through its mysterious creative process.” By juxtaposing discovered sketches with the final versions, the players give us the chance to imagine what the music might have, or could have, become.
November 16, 2023 by
Buster Keaton (1895-1966) was a child of storm. Kansas tornadoes, he claimed, blew him into the world, christened him, and flung him onto the stage and screen. The story goes that on the night of his birth, a tornado almost leveled the tiny town where his mother happened to be when she went into labor.
September 27, 2023 by
“Reflections” is a program of song highlighting under-acknowledged creative spirits and celebrating artistic collaborations between women and men. Each of the featured composers fought against the rules and prejudices of a world that decreed they had no right to artistic pursuits. They overcame obstacles to forge an illustrious career and develop their own musical persona.