The Jupiter String Quartet is pleased to announce new concert programming for future seasons, offered for 2024-25 and beyond.
Shaped by Judaism
The Jupiter Quartet performs a beautifully powerful tribute to Jewish artistic influences. Dmitri Shostakovich greatly admired the blend of emotional impact and restraint found within Jewish folk tunes, and he composed his fourth string quartet, completed in 1949, with this blend in mind. Shostakovich composed with the horrors of the Holocaust fresh in the collective consciousness, but decades later, the impact of these horrors is beginning to diminish as first-hand witnesses pass away and conspiracy theories take hold. In an effort to ensure that the victims’ legacies are not lost, Israeli-born composer Shulamit Ran dedicated her third string quartet to the memory of artist Felix Nussbaum and other victims of the Holocaust, imploring listeners: “This is my way of saying, ‘do not forget.’” The program finishes with Felix Mendelssohn’s sparklingly dramatic quartet in E minor, written during his honeymoon in the Black Forest in 1837.
Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83
Shulamit Ran: String Quartet No. 3, “Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory”
Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 44 No. 2
Night & Day
The struggle between light and dark is a hallmark of Franz Schubert’s late style. This juxtaposition is apparent throughout his monumental G Major quartet, the last string quartet he would compose before his premature death at the age of 31. From the opening chords of the first movement to the relentless dance that pervades the last, Schubert navigates the emotional journey between pain and joy with breadth and nuance that almost seamlessly blends the two states. Both Beethoven and Haydn were also masters of exploring these emotional extremes. In contrast to the expanse of Schubert’s journey, Beethoven presents his Op. 95 quartet in a concise manner, almost biting in its brevity. Haydn’s brilliant last quartet in F Major finds emotional depth through wit and grace. Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte, inspired by the minuet from this same Haydn quartet, weaves a tapestry of rich color changes and kaleidoscopic sounds, both universal and intimate. Carols Simon’s Warmth from Other Suns is a musical depiction of the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South between the years 1916-1970. Of his work, Simon says, “Inspired by Isabel Wilkerson’s book, The Warmth of Other Suns, I chose to bring these stories to life through the voice of a string quartet.”
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95
Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 77, No. 2, Hob.III: 82
Caroline Shaw: Entr’acte
Carlos Simon: Warmth from Other Suns
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D. 887
The Jupiter Quartet showcases the monumental, ongoing impact of the fugue. Urged by his patron to arrange J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier for string quartet, Mozart created this clever set of five fugues. He would go on to write several quartets of his own that featured fugal writing prominently. The fugue, with its focus on conversational and imitative writing, was a perfect vehicle for flaunting his ingenuity and creativity. Beethoven also found rich ground for innovation using the foundation of the fugue, most famously in the original finale of his Op. 130 string quartet. This massive finale, following a series of lighter dance movements and directly preceded by the sublime “Cavatina,” astonished audiences of its time, and continues to astound listeners today. Beethoven had to write an alternative finale, but the Jupiter Quartet will feature the piece in its original form. Between these two compositions is the first quartet of Jamaican-British composer Eleanor Alberga, written in 1993. Inspired by a physics lecture on the formation and reformation of matter, Alberga described the opening movement as “‘a fugue without a subject, as particles of this stardust swirl around each other, go their separate ways, collide, or merge.”
J.S. Bach: Five Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier (arr. by W.A. Mozart)
Eleanor Alberga: String Quartet No. 1
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 1
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with David Ying, viola and Phillip Ying, cello
David and Phillip Ying, violist and cellist of the Ying Quartet, join the Jupiter Quartet for a program of remarkable string sextets. The program begins with an excerpt from Richard Strauss’s final opera, Capriccio, which features the sextet players as actual performers within the story. Schulhoff’s sprightly sextet took four years to complete and was premiered by Paul Hindemith’s quartet in 1924. After the success of the premiere, Schulhoff sent the manuscript to be printed, but asked for it to be returned for revision shortly thereafter. Though the revision was never realized, the original work was revived in the 1980s and has become a beloved chamber favorite. One of his most renowned chamber works, Brahms composed his first sextet at 27. At that time, only a few other composers, such as Boccherini and Spohr, had composed for this ensemble, but Brahms’s harmonic exploration and savvy approach to writing for strings set him apart and solidified the work as a mainstay in string repertoire.
Richard Strauss: String Sextet from Capriccio, Op. 85
Erwin Schulhoff: String Sextet
Johannes Brahms: String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 18
with Jon Nakamatsu, piano
The Jupiter Quartet collaborates with illustrious American pianist Jon Nakamatsu for a program featuring Cesar Franck’s intensely passionate quintet.
string quartet works TBD
Cesar Franck: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 14 with Jon Nakamatsu
Booked in collaboration with Arts Management Group for Jon Nakamatsu.
with chamber choir
The Jupiter Quartet offers a collaboration with university chamber choirs, performing a new commission by composer Su Lian Tan with text by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Of their new work, Singing Land, the creators say, “We plant a new garden of sound. Recalling ancient and modern voices and the mysticism of string instruments, voices of bullfrogs, hawks who cry warnings, the circle of life continues and we create a world that is both spiritual and material. Text becomes music, music weaves the lushness of greenery and the breath exchanging on our planet, perhaps with the required urgency. Are we now in the aubade or the twilight? We CAN love the earth back to wholeness.”