John Frayne | A beautiful, exotic performance by the Jupiter String Quartet | Music

The Jupiter String Quartet, with Nelson Lee on violin, Meg Freivogel on violin, Liz Freivogel on viola and Daniel McDonogh on cello, gave a live performance in Foellinger Nice Corridor on Nov. 10, containing two works on unique topics, from Malaysia and ante bellum New Orleans, and one main work by Bohemian composer Antonin Dvorák, composed among the many corn fields of Iowa.

The primary work was by Su Lian Tan, born in Malaysia in 1964. Ms. Tan is a professor of music at Middlebury Faculty in Vermont. Her work, titled “Life in Wayang” (2002), was impressed by the normal puppet theater within the Malay world. The copious notes informed us the primary motion, “The Gods Descend,” “… struggles with our ideas of god and pious love.” Within the music, loping phrases have been performed with dissonance, in separate strains. Later within the motion, a easy tune was heard, resembling for me the music of Béla Bártok. The second motion, “Ballade,” “… charts the journey of rapture and heartbreak” in the middle of human love.

The members of the Jupiter Quartet performed fantastically the ethereal, lyrical music, which had damaged phrases, which grew to become darker, extra tragic with the sound of bells. The ultimate, third motion, “The Chattering Strings,” “… brings us again to the current.” The music right here was extra animated, with brilliant, pecking phrases and folk-song echoes, resulting in a slower, nostalgic finish. Tan’s music gave evident pleasure, however since I’ve no direct information of Wayang pantomime, I can’t estimate how efficiently her descriptions of the music’s meanings have been achieved.

The second work consisted of three actions from the String Quartet No. I, “On the Octoroon Balls” by well-known jazz and classical composer Wynton Marsalis. It appears that evidently within the early 1800s, unique White settlers in New Orleans organized balls to draw girls of one-quarter African descent to change into concubines, since interracial marriage was forbidden. In actual fact, such balls are actually thought by some historians to have been legendary.

From Marsalis’ seven-movement work, the Jupiter Quartet selected to play No. 3, “Creole Contradanzas”; No. 4, “Many Gone”; and No. 5, “Hellbound Highball.”

The third motion had music with sighing phrases over a lilting beat, which developed into a complicated passage with sinuous, fierce pizzicato. The fourth motion resembled the singing of spirituals. This half provided cellist Daniel McDonogh a solemn solo. Issues acquired livelier in the midst of the motion as different gamers joined in a rustic dance, with the violist stamping her foot in time. Earlier than the music began, cellist McDonogh described motion 5 as a “hair-raising prepare wreck,” and that’s simply what it gave the impression of, performed as quick as doable with leaping and scooping passages, pauses to regain energy, then off once more to a wow end, which trailed off, as prepare wrecks are wont to do. This show piece produced whoops and shouts from the delighted viewers.

After intermission, the Jupiter members have been joined by Kirsten Docter, a professor of viola and chamber music on the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She joined the Jupiter Quartet in enjoying Antonin Dvorák’s String Quintet, Op. 97, which was composed in 1893 in Spillville, Iowa. There have been many passages on this work the place the suave and wealthy tones of Docter’s viola blended in beautiful concord with the Jupiter strings.

As one would possibly count on from a Dvorák work, there was movement of scrumptious melody, and likewise, as within the drumbeats of the second motion, components imitated from Native American music. Apparently, members of the Iroquois tribe went concerning the Center West in summertime giving demonstrations of their dancing and singing. The composer additionally quoted within the third motion a melody which he had meant for a brand new American nationwide anthem.

Coupled with these “American” facets was music expressing eager for the Bohemian homeland. After the thrilling fourth-movement coda, viewers members within the orchestra and balcony stood as they strongly applauded.

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