With Beethoven's great Quartet in Bb, Op. 130, the New Esterhazy Quartet continue their series of Haydn & His Students in two concerts on Thanksgiving weekend, also featuring works by Haydn and A.F. Titz. Like a harvest feast, Beethoven's Quartet features all manner of savory items, not merely for digestion, but also as matter for discussion and disputation. As for a holiday meal, he has put extra leaves in the table; instead of the usual four movements we have six, encompassing song, dance, wit, prayer, and frequent changes of subject. The most special of all is the Cavatina, a movement Beethoven himself considered his best, saying that never had one of his own pieces moved him so deeply. And he was not alone in this opinion: in 1977 the Cavatina was chosen as the last piece to be played on the "golden record," an LP containing a sample of Earth's sounds, languages, and music, sent into outer space with the Voyager probes. Violinist Kati Kyme says: "Beethoven was Haydn's most difficult student-they often disagreed. And Haydn never got to hear the Cavatina. But he would have agreed. He would have thought: 'Yes, it is a masterpiece.'"
The members of the New Esterhazy Quartet-violinists Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist William Skeen-have performed and recorded in the top tier of early music ensembles all over the world, and often occupy the front seats of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and American Bach Soloists in the Bay Area. The quartet, praised for their "exceptional fluidity and polish," were the first in North America to perform all 68 string quartets of Joseph Haydn on period instruments. Alongside a series of Quartets Dedicated to Haydn, the quartet started a series of Haydn and His Students. Violist Anthony Martin says: "The Haydn quartets establish a tradition of quartet writing which continues to this day. He has influenced every composer who has ventured into the form. 'Papa' Haydn is the genial progenitor of them all."
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$25 (discounts for seniors and students).