Danish String Quartet
January 29, 2017 at 3 p.m.
Minsky Recital Hall
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Danish String Quartet

Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 3 p.m.
Minsky Recital Hall

PLEASE NOTE! A limited number of floor seats have been added to meet the overwhelming demand for tickets. Please call between 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to reserve those seats, which are being offered at a reduced price — $25, including fees. 

Embodying the quintessential elements of a fine chamber music ensemble, the Danish String Quartet has established a reputation for their integrated sound, impeccable intonation and judicious balance.  With their technical and interpretive talents matched by an infectious joy for music-making and “rampaging energy” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker),the quartet is in demand worldwide by concert and festival presenters alike. Since making their debut in 2002 at the Copenhagen Festival, the musical friends have demonstrated a passion for Scandinavian composers, who they frequently incorporate into adventurous contemporary programs, while also giving skilled and profound interpretations of the classical masters. The New York Times selected the quartet’s concerts as highlights of 2012 and 2015, praising “one of the most powerful renditions of Beethoven’s Opus 132 String Quartet that I’ve heard live or on a recording, and “the adventurous young members of the Danish String Quartet play almost everything excitingly.”

Please click for extensive information about the quartet:   www.danishquartet.com

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Program:

WALLIN – Swans Kissing for string quartet
Folk Music from Nordic Countries – Selections to be announced from the stage

INTERMISSION
BEETHOVEN – String Quartet in E minor, No. 8, Op. 59 No. 2
Allegro
Molto adagio
Allegretto
Finale – Presto, alla breve

Here’s a sampling of  the quartet:

“They could be grounded in their tone or mystical. They allowed time to stand still, and they could assume the pose of excitingly aggressive rockers. They did it all.”
-The Los Angeles Times 

“They bring a freshness and energy plus a level of sheer accomplishment that I don’t ever remember hearing in these works.”
-Gramophone

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Pre-Concert Talk

Learn before you go!  Anatole Wieck, Jack Burt and Marisa Solomon (all of whom are HUGE fans of the Danish String Quartet!) will talk about the composers and give historical context to the concert, sponsored by the UMaine Humanities Center.  For his part of the talk, Dr. Burt will discuss the larger question of the relationship of classical music to that of folk music. How do composers, either directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, make folk elements part of their “art music.”  He will offer audio examples as part of his short talk.

Dr. Wieck will be talking about Beethoven’s string quartet.  Among other things he will mention the use of Russian folk music in this composition.

At the close of the lecture, a quartet of students from Orono High School, John Bapst and MDI (Liberal Homeschooler) will play a tune from the DSQ’s Wood Works books (Nordic Folk).

2-2:45 p.m.

Post-Concert Reception

Please join us for a post-concert reception in Miller’s Cafe, where you may meet up with other chamber-music lovers. The artists are always invited and encouraged to attend.

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Adults/Seniors $32 | Students $7

A $3 facility fee will be added to tickets for this event.

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Take it from two people who have see the quartet perform!

By Marisa Solomon,
Chamber Music Society Committee member, BSO Cellist

Without exaggeration, the DSQ performance in Minsky four years ago remains one of the most memorable and inspiring concerts I have heard in my lifetime. And this was a concert I didn’t even want to attend. I was too busy and overwhelmed that day. But I digress. From the moment they played their first note (Mozart K.421 in D minor), I was transfixed and transported, and remained so for the entire program. It was immediately apparent that this was not a group of four individuals but one single, indescribable entity. The program ended with a standing ovation. And then, the event that would change my life, they played an encore. An unknown, 300-year old Nordic wedding tune that they had arranged for string quartet. The crowd went wild. That tune is not so unknown anymore because by the grace of all things good, the DSQ went on to record a full album of Nordic folk tunes that they published in 2013, titled Wood Works. Unabashedly, I will tell you I’ve listened to this album hundreds of times. And then they published the sheet music, which allowed musicians around the world the opportunity to play the tunes themselves. It is quite literally the gift that keeps on giving. Even my trumpeter husband, who doesn’t exactly love the string quartet genre (“too stuffy”), fell in love with this quartet. This is a concert no one should miss. Go. You will thank me. Even better, you will thank them.

By Jack Burt,
Associate Professor of Trumpet at the University of Maine.

I have to say it up front: I generally don’t listen to string quartet music. For me, it’s music better suited to be played among friends, at home, taking time to stop and chat, and maybe enjoying a few drinks along the way. Sitting in a hall listening to a string quartet has never really been my cup of tea. I am a brass player, after all!

So, why I am I writing about a string quartet concert for your newsletter? Because the Danish String Quartet is different. Exceptional. Unique. I am here to tell you: don’t miss this concert! Why? Rock stars, that’s why.

The Danish have an aura about their performances that is rare in the classical world today. This goes well beyond their awesome beards, and their hip Nordic image. This specialness is evident in the most basic of musical elements: their sound. It is rich, warm, and multi-faceted. To my ears, they sound different than any other string quartet. Regardless of the repertoire, this unique tone quality remains. It is a sound you can hear no where else in the world, except in Minsky Recital Hall on January 29, 2017 at 3PM. Be there.

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We hope you enjoy this concert, featured as a selection in the John I. and Elizabeth E. Patches Chamber Music Series.