Date(s) - 9/7/2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
First Unitarian Society
ASQ opens its 19th season with a program of works by three Italian composers more usually associated with opera, or violin solos, than with string quartets. Violin virtuoso and composer Antonio Bazzini led a rockstar’s life, touring Europe and hobnobbing with Schumann and Mendelssohn. He later settled in Milan, winning first prize in the Milan quartet competition in 1864 with this piece. The magical Scherzo shows Mendelssohn’s influence, and the Andante sostenuto delivers breathtakingly beautiful passages of lyrical romance and tender passion.
Puccini wrote Chrysanthemums (Crisantemi) in one night, upon hearing the news of the death of his friend the Duke of Savoy in 1890. The six-minute piece expresses the composer’s sorrow, in themes that bring to mind the poignant melodies of Madame Butterfly.
Verdi’s Quartet in E Minor (1873) opens with restrained moodiness, but the drama quickly leaps off the page. Written to pass the time while waiting for the delayed opening of Aida, this quartet demonstrates Verdi’s mastery of purely instrumental writing (although the cello solo in the Trio of the Scherzo could pass for a tenor aria!). The work ends, surprisingly, with an elaborate fugue.