“A remarkably accomplished string quartet, not simply for its high technical polish and refined tone, but more importantly for the searching musical insights it brings.” — The Chicago Tribune
COLERIDGE-TAYLOR – Dance Négre
SCHOENBERG – Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra
TCHAIKOVSKY – Symphony No. 4
The Borromeo String Quartet were very popular at the chamber music series we presented for many years at The Kalliroscope Gallery here in Groton. Tonight they will join us for this concert’s centerpiece: Arnold Schoenberg’s Concerto in B-flat Major for String Quartet and Orchestra. Written in 1933, this delightfully inventive work is described as a ‘free transcription’ of G.F. Händel’s Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 7. Late 19th Century composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor especially enjoyed taking themes from African American folk music and integrating them into the classical tradition. The Danse nègre from his African Suite, Op. 35 (1898) is a festive cultural tribute and charming concert opener. “Everybody loves Tchaikovsky,” says Bruce, “and playing one of his great symphonies – the Fourth – is a perfect way to end this concert.” Listeners will recognize his ability to combine epic symphonic writing with colorful instrumentation as well as deep emotion.
About our guest soloists:
Each visionary performance of the award-winning Borromeo String Quartet strengthens and deepens its reputation as one of the most important ensembles of our time. Admired and sought after for both its fresh interpretations of the classical music canon and its championing of works by 20th and 21st century composers, the ensemble has been hailed for its “edge-of-the-seat performances,” by the Boston Globe, which called it “simply the best.” Inspiring audiences for more than 25 years, the Borromeo continues to be a pioneer in its use of technology, and has the trailblazing distinction of being the first string quartet to utilize laptop computers on the concert stage. Reading music this way helps push artistic boundaries, allowing the artists to perform solely from 4-part scores and composers’ manuscripts, a revealing and metamorphic experience which these dedicated musicians now teach to students around the world. The BSQ has been ensemble-in-residence at the New England Conservatory and Taos School of Music, and has enjoyed a long-term relationship with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where it continues to regularly appear. It is quartet-in-residence at the Heifetz International Music Institute, where first violinist Nicholas Kitchen is Artistic Director. The quartet was also in residence at, and has worked extensively as performers and educators with the Library of Congress and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The ensemble joined the Emerson Quartet as the Hittman Ensembles in Residence at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, and was recently was in residence at Kansas University, the San Francisco Conservatory, and Colorado State University, where it regularly appears.