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Program 2

Beethoven, Day and Shostakovich

We continue our bold exploration of the complete Beethoven and Shostakovich string quartets by pairing one of Beethoven’s earliest and one of Shostakovich’s latest works in the genre, setting the stage with a short piece by Kevin Day. Beethoven’s lively 5th quartet was modeled on Mozart’s quartet K464, which Beethoven so admired that he adopted the structure, and key and even paraphrased a melody from the finale of that work in his last movement. Similarly, Kevin Day’s brief Variation V is a groovy take on the rambunctious 5th variation from the 3rd movement of this work. Shostakovich’s penultimate quartet was dedicated to the cellist of the Beethoven Quartet, which premiered most of his chamber works, and naturally boasts plenty of prominent cello solos. This pensive work in the exotic key of F-sharp-major uses sparse textures, even for a quartet, and submerges the listener in a deep state of introspection, a common feature of Shostakovich’s late compositions. ~ Alexander Vavilov


Variation V | Kevin Day (b. 1996) ~ 2 minutes

String Quartet No.5, Op.18 No.5 | Ludwig van Beethoven (1770—1827) ~ 29 minutes

String Quartet No. 14 in F-sharp major, Op. 142 | Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) ~ 25 minutes

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