Pro Musica Presents Philadelphia’s Jasper String Quartet

Pro Musica Presents Philadelphia’s Jasper String Quartet

Pro Musica Concert Series
The Jasper String Quartet
Fri and Sat, Feb 21 and 22, 5pm
St Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
200, 350, and 450 pesos
www.promusicasma.org
promusicasma@aol.com

By Linda Laino

Based in Philadelphia, the dynamic Jasper String Quartet is the Professional Quartet in Residence at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. Formed in 2006, they swept the competition circuit winning the Grand Prize in the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and Yale School of Music’s Horatio Parker Memorial Prize. Quartet members, dedicated to community outreach, have received numerous grants and recognition including the 2012 Chamber Music America Grant for their “imaginative and outstanding” work with the musical youth of Philadelphia, as well as the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award. The Jasper’s perform emotionally significant music and commission work from important contemporary composers. The New York Times named their recent album, Unbound,as one of the 25 Best Classical Recordings of 2017.

Friday’s concert features Haydn’s Quartet in B-flat major, the Sunrise. Light and airy, the elegant melody is filled with vigorous rhythms and has an energetic finale. Next, Czech composer Bedřich Smetana’s String Quartet No.1, From My Life. The piece takes the listener on an emotional journey through his romantic ideals and his search for the essence of art.

We will also hear Mendelssohn’s Quartet in D major, composed in 1838 and dedicated to the Crown Prince of Sweden. The energetic opening and soaring violins give way to fierce staccato rhythms. Cherished for its passion, the piece is filled with light and joy.

Saturday’s concert begins with Haydn’s Quartet No. 4 in D major. Known as the “father of the string quartet,” he defined the medium for over 200 years. This quartet has a mysterious opening followed by harmonic surprises throughout. The piece is an example of Haydn’s mature quartet style and is always an audience favorite.

We will also hear Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor. A pioneer of modern chamber music, Debussy freed the form from its rigid structure and introduced greater emotion and sensation. The piece is dissonant, playful, and unconventional and was his first important string quartet in this innovative style.

Finally, the piece de résistance of the concert Schubert’s Quartet in D minor, Death and the Maiden. It is a pillar of the chamber music repertoire with its stunning intensity, written as the composer faced death. Despite its somber opening, the work has an aggressive and hypnotic power, one of Schubert’s signature rhythmic devices, imbuing this stunning masterpiece with life and energy.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are a 200, 350, and 450 pesos donation and are on sale at the bookshop in the Biblioteca Pública, through our website with no booking fee, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our website, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com.