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
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