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Arnica Quartet in Portland
Portland, Oregon
Friday, 15 March 2013 - 7:00 PM

Arnica String Quartet: March Music Moderne

From a Finnish composer in Los Angeles, to an Argentinian composer in Boston, this concert by the Arnica String Quartet spans the globe and two centuries in bringing together four great works for string quartet.

Esa Pekka Salonen's "Homunculus" for string quartet, written in 2007 for the Johannes Quartet, is a 12 minute condensation of ideas for a huge string quartet - much like its namesake, the "little man" that was once believed to be contained in every sperm cell - it contains all of the compositional DNA necessary for a large-scale composition.

Osvaldo Golijov's 2002 work "Tenebrae" is a dark and mysterious work that ruminates on beauty, death, darkness, religion, spirituality, and pain.

Arvo Pärt, the mystic composer of Estonia, wrote the first version of "Fratres" in 1977. It has since been arranged for many different combinations of ensembles and solo instruments. The most famous version - made popular by the Kronos Quartet - is most likely that for string quartet. It is a work full of mystical and spiritual resonances, and a natural companion piece to Golijov's "Tenebrae".

Béla Bartók wrote his First String Quartet in 1909 at the age of 28. His six quartets are considered towering masterpieces of 20th century music, and in this first work we find Bartók straddling the divide between the great western European string quartet tradition of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Ravel, and Debussy, and the folk-influenced work of his native Hungary.
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