Britten: String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25
Bartók: String Quartet No. 3
Dvořák: String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96, “American”
“The young American string quartet of the moment” (New Yorker) plays a meaty and substantial program of music by composers from England, Hungary, and Bohemia (Czech Republic) – all of which have strong links to the USA. England’s Benjamin Britten composed his highly inventive first quartet in 1941, while living in California. Hungarian master Béla Bartók created his third string quartet 1927; it is in four parts on the score, but played as one continuous movement in concert. He dedicated it to the Musical Society Fund of Philadelphia. It won a joint first prize in a global chamber music competition that the society organized. Czech composer Antonín Dvořák spent the years 1892 to 1895 in America, as Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. He spent his first summer vacation in Spillville, Iowa, a town of 300 Czech immigrants. Surrounded by his home culture, he felt a profound urge to express in music his jovial feelings and his deep homesickness. He composed the beloved “American” Quartet in just 15 days. The influence of earthy Czech folk music echoes throughout every bar.