The Principal String Quartet of the KSO will be performing at Borders Books Store in the Deane Hill Shopping Center, Sunday, March 13th at 4:00. This “Sunday with the Symphony” concert will feature the quartet in a preview of the April 3rd Chamber Classics concert at the Bijou. Beethoven’s Op. string quartet 59 No.1 will be played in the coffee shop performance space at Borders.
The quartet has been hard at work on this piece (and others) for several months now. In the bible of string quartet playing, Beethoven’s three quartets, Op. 59, would surely be the book of Psalms. They are at the same time intimate and powerful, and the first, in F Major, runs the gamut of musical emotions, from puckish verve in the scherzo second movement to tender melancholy in the third, to outright mayhem in the finale, which is based on a Russian folk theme.
Working through the piece with my comrades (Miro Hristov and Edward Pulgar, violins; Katy Gawne, viola and former bloggist) is a joy. Ask just about any string player and they will tell you that working on the quartet literature is not just a learning experience, but a bonding experience, too. The beautiful thing about the Symphony is that the four of us have been put together fortuitously and have a great camaraderie.
Morning rehearsals often happen at my house, where the coffee flows freely. Evening rehearsals, often at Miro’s house, are open-ended affairs where only an attack of narcolepsy can end the rehearsal. In the spirit of chamber music reading parties of yore, wine is often featured. Miro’s son Danny often serenades us at the piano before we get down to brass tacks, while his daughter Sophie lets us know in no uncertain terms that the purple stand is hers! Rehearsals at Katy’s abode are fun because there are almost ALWAYS cookies and her 6-year-old daughter Alice ALWAYS has a tale tell, as well as some constructive criticism.
So come on out- get a cup of Joe, curl up with a good book (how about the score to the Op. 59 #1 quartet??) and support chamber music in Knoxville. BUT.... don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour tonight, or you will see us shopping for books instead of playing music. We shan’t be gone long.... you come, too.