String Quartet Chamber Music

by Evan Kory – 

The final virtual concert of the season brought back three members of the Quartetto Patagonia, Laura, Emily, and Juan with special guest violinist Timothy Kantor. Timothy is Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Arizona and also performs with the Tucson Symphony.

The quartet’s program began with Timothy’s favorite composer, Josef Haydn. Regarded as the father of the string quartet, Haydn was a prolific composer who wrote 68 quartets. The string quartet performed in this May concert, Op. 20 No.4, opens mysteriously with wonderful rich chords in the lower registers of the string instruments. One can hear the influence Haydn had as a teacher on Beethoven in this introduction. The second work in the program was the String Quartet No. 1 in F Major by Laura Valborg Aulin. The Swedish born composer was a contemporary of Amanda Maier, whose music we heard in the April concert with Emily Chao and Yasmin Alami. Similarly, Aulin’s compositions have a dramatic presentation style and are deeply immersed in the romantic aesthetic of character pieces. Although the quartet does not explicitly depict an image or scene, the listener can immediately visualize water flowing through the notes played by the second violin and viola as they accompany the first violin’s opening melody. The piece builds up to the final fourth movement, a finale that starts with a high energy fugue. The quartet executed the piece beautifully. Their performance can be heard here.