Category: Shanghai Quartet (1)
Throughout their program at the Alexander Kasser Theater on September 12, the Shanghai Quartet displayed compelling evidence of their skills and intriguing links to the riches of their Montclair State residency thus far and to come. The program of late Beethoven (no. 11, op. 95), Dvorák’s rambunctious twelfth quartet (“The American”), and Brahms’s Sextet in G major, while not a radical opening to the Shanghai’s eighth season on campus, held a sly sheen while showing off the classical strong suits of a group attuned to their home house and their ardent home crowd.
For revelatory content, it would’ve been tough to surpass the U.S. premier of Krzysztof Penderecki’s String Quartet no. 3 this past February, a commission from the renowned Polish composer by Peak Performances and Montclair State University. Yet Beethoven’s “Serioso” quartet leapt in on full alert, delving into startling sonic terrain then folding abruptly into gentle phrases. A canny program change put the aggressive Beethoven quartet before the spirited Dvorák, as giddy at times as a Wild West score. Shanghai’s Dvorák, resplendent with fiddle themes of the composer’s Czech heritage and refracted through his passion for African American music, pointed directly to their spring concert, when double bassist and jazz maven Christian McBride joins them for Dvorák’s String Quintet in G major. Read more »