This HSQ concert features two pillars of the 20th century quartet literature, as well as a wonderfully evocative composition by American composer Erica Ball. After Germany broke their non-aggression pact and invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Prokofiev and many other artists were evacuated to the Caucasus, where they came across a rich world of folk music native to the region. Encouraged to write something using these novel folk melodies, Prokofiev gives us a quartet that is equally defiant, sweet, whimsical, and forceful. Bartók’s haunting sixth quartet comes from a time of extreme stress and anxiety for the composer; as Europe churned towards conflict in the late 1930s and with his mother extremely ill, Bartók chose to stay in Budapest with her through the end of her life even though he was frequently in conflict with the pro-Nazi leanings of his native Hungary. Much of his anxiety and deep sadness at the loss of his mother permeates the sixth quartet - one of the last works of Bartók - including a twisted, limping military march, a sneering, sarcastic burlesque, and a profoundly mournful final movement.
Erica Ball, “w(e)aving” for String Quartet (2010)
Sergei Prokofiev, String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 92 (1941)
Béla Bartók, String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114 (1939)
Tickets are $25 ($10 for students and USNH members).
Buy tickets here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3593029