Summer quartets

love-opera-victoria-baker“A good quartet is like a good conversation among friends interacting to each other’s ideas” said famous saxophonist Stan Getz.

So much has been said about the art of string quartets. Musicians find a sense of camaraderie as they learn to play alongside one another. The string quartet allows the artist to master the art of humility whilst still being true to one’s unique talents. That’s a tall order, but so many have found joy in communicating this way.

A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string instruments, usually two violins, a viola and a cello which follow movements similar to the structure of a symphony. Members of a quartet are all soloist musicians in their instrument of choice.

This provides an effective way of dealing with complex musical arrangements since the players don’t need to play in unison or keep in precise timing with the others in the group. Quartet players need only to be concerned with their own parts, and how they merge and harmonize, rather than what the other musicians are playing.

This July the Caramoor Music Festival presents a program by the infamous Emerson String Quartet as well as the Amphion String Quartet. Each program showcases some of the classical repertoires’ most famous pieces such as the Beethoven “Razumovsky” quartet as well as works by Schubert and Britten.

The first of these programs will take place on July 19th at 8pm in the Spanish Courtyard and the second on July 21st at 8pm in the Venetian Theater- I’ve been to both venues and they are both beautiful. The Spanish Courtyard will make you feel like you’re spending the evening in a faraway Hacienda. For more information log onto www.caramoor.org. It doesn’t matter what you listen to there, the beauty of your surroundings will make it magical.

Haydn has often been nicknamed the “Father of the String Quartet”. The young 18-year-old composer was working for Baron Fürnberg sometime around 1755-1757 at his country estate in Vienna. The Baron wanted to hear music, and the available players: the village pastor, the Baron’s steward, Haydn, and another musician neighbor also happened to be two violinists, a violist and a cellist.

Haydn took the Baron up on his proposal and thus the first quartet was born.

 There are many interesting summer concerts at our disposal, but the Caramoor Music Festival is about a 15 minute drive away from Greenwich and provides us with world class musicians and first rate performances.

If you’ve always wondered what the magical power of the string quartet is, then the upcoming selection of scheduled performances of quartets at Caramoor is the perfect opportunity to explore this intriguing art form in a beautiful summer garden setting.

 

Victoria Baker, of Greenwich, is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 203-531-7499 or e-mail [email protected]

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