CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Saturday, March 12, 2011 | 8 PM

Emerson String Quartet
Sir James Galway

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
This is a meeting of musical legends. Galway is both an exemplary artist and a master showman, “a model of how to handle both a flute and an audience” (The Washington Post). Time, echoing the sentiments of most chamber-music fans, has called the Emerson “America’s greatest quartet.” Each performs separately, in addition to joining forces in music by Mozart and Foote.

Performers

  • Emerson String Quartet
    ·· Eugene Drucker, Violin
    ·· Philip Setzer, Violin
    ·· Lawrence Dutton, Viola
    ·· David Finckel, Cello
  • Sir James Galway, Flute

Program

  • MOZART Flute Quartet in D Major, K.285
  • DEBUSSY Syrinx
  • THOMAS ADÈS The Four Quarters (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • FOOTE A Night Piece
  • DEBUSSY String Quartet in G Minor

  • Encores:
  • DVORÁK When Thy Sweet Glances, No. 3 from Cypresses
  • BACH Badinerie from Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067

Bios

  • Emerson String Quartet

    Eugene Drucker, Violin
    Philip Setzer, Violin
    Lawrence Dutton, Viola
    David Finckel, Cello

    The Emerson String Quartet stands alone in the history of string quartets with an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades: more than 30 acclaimed recordings produced with Deutsche Grammophon since 1987; nine Grammy Awards (including two for Best Classical Album, an unprecedented honor for a chamber-music group); three Gramophone Awards, the coveted Avery Fisher Prize; and cycles of the complete Beethoven, Bartók, Mendelssohn, and Shostakovich string quartets in the world's musical capitals.

    The 2010-2011 season includes a three-concert series at London's Wigmore Hall; and the world premiere of Thomas Adès' The Four Quarters, a work that the quartet will later perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and at Southbank Centre in London. Additional international performances are slated for France, Russia, Mexico, Norway, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, and Austria. North American engagements take the Emerson to Montreal, Vancouver, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Costa Mesa, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Seattle, and Washington, DC. Following enthusiastic acclaim of its 2009 debut performances in South America, the ensemble returns in May 2011 for a second tour. The quartet continues its residency at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, now in its 31st season.

    The Emerson String Quartet is Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University, where the members conduct chamber-music coachings and intensive string quartet workshops. The quartet has also overseen three Professional Training Workshops at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. In the 2006-2007 season, Carnegie Hall invited the Emerson to present its own Perspectives series, a nine-concert exploration titled Beethoven in Context.

    Formed in 1976, the Emerson String Quartet took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer alternate in the first chair position and are joined by violist Lawrence Dutton and cellist David Finckel. Since January 2002, Drucker, Setzer, and Dutton have stood while performing; Mr. Finckel sits on a podium. The quartet is based in New York City.
    More Info

  • Sir James Galway

    Sir James Galway is regarded as both the supreme interpreter of the classical flute repertoire and a consummate entertainer whose appeal crosses all musical boundaries. He has been privileged to perform for presidents and royalty during his illustrious music career.

    A living legend, Sir James's virtuosity on the flute is equaled only by his limitless ambition and vision. Through his extensive touring, prodigious record sales (more than 30 million albums), and his frequent international television appearances, Sir James has endeared himself to millions worldwide.

    Sir James's 2010-2011 season includes an extensive tour of the US, followed by a tour of Asia and Australia, with additional appearances in Russia, Israel, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, and the UK. Sir James returns to the US to perform with the Emerson String Quartet in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York. He concludes the season with a recital tour of the US's southern cities.

    In addition to his busy concert schedule, Sir James makes time to coach young musicians; conduct annual master classes; commission new works for flute by David Amram, John Corigliano, William Bolcom, Lorin Maazel; and publish articles, flute studies, and books. He has developed a new student version of the flute with flute manufacturer Conn-Selmer called the "Galway Spirit." Sir James is also passionate about fundraising for the arts and for organizations such as UNICEF, Youth Music in the UK, Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance, and International SOS.

    Sir James is the recipient of numerous awards, such as Musician of the Year by Musical America (1997), The Recording Academy President's Merit Award (2004), The Classical BRIT Outstanding Contribution to Classical Music Award (2005), Ford Honors (2008), Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame (2008), and the first Artist Laureate of the Ulster Orchestra (2009). Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has honored him with an Order of the British Empire in 1979 and with a knighthood for services to music in 2001.

    A discography of over 65 CDs-many of them platinum and gold-reflects his musical diversity. Sir James performs on a 20K Nagahara Gold "Galway" flute that was especially commissioned for him.
    More Info

Audio

Debussy Syrinx
James Galway, Flute 
RCA Victor Red Seal

At a Glance

This is a meeting of musical legends. Galway is both an exemplary artist and a master showman, “a model of how to handle both a flute and an audience” (The Washington Post). Time, echoing the sentiments of most chamber-music fans, has called the Emerson “America’s greatest quartet.” Each performs separately, in addition to joining forces in music by Mozart and Foote.

 

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Flute Quartet in D Major, K. 285
Mozart composed the Flute Quartet in D Major, K. 285, as part of a group of works commissioned by a wealthy Dutch physician and amateur flutist. Keeping his patron in mind, Mozart kept the flute melodies within the most gracious range of the instrument, favoring singing beauty over technical brilliance.

CLAUDE DEBUSSY  Syrinx
Debussy’s Syrinx for solo flute is built from a series of relatively short phrases, repeated and varied. Originally, the score was written without the conventional bar lines that segment discrete metrical units; even their addition does not constrain the freely flowing musical ideas.

THOMAS ADÈS  The Four Quarters
Thomas Adès’s Four Quarters for string quartet is in four movements: Nightfalls, Morning Dew, Days, and The Twenty-Fifth Hour. Moving from the spooky stillness of evening to the bright cheer of daybreak and rhythmic energy of midday, the quartet ends with a sweet and buoyant march that eventually, reluctantly fades away.

ARTHUR FOOTE  A Night Piece
A Night Piece is the first movement of Foote’s Nocturne and Scherzo for flute and string quartet, a late work in his oeuvre. Though he and other American composers of his generation are often summarily described as beholden to the Romantic tradition, A Night Piece proves that Foote was sensitive to contemporary European innovations in form and harmony.

CLAUDE DEBUSSY  String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10
Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10, is his only work in the genre—and his only work to bear an opus number. It is an early piece characterized by cyclic techniques that use a recurring motto to unite the movements.

Program Notes

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