Hunt Country Vineyards, 4021 Italy Hill Road, Branchport, NY
FLCMF musicians, Urara Mogi and Blanca Gonzalez (violin), Richard Auldon Clark (viola), and Peter Prosser (cello) perform Mozart, Divermento in D; Dvořák, “American String Quartet”; and Shostakovich, String Quartet No. 8.
Divertimento in D is the first of a group of works by Mozart known as the “Salzburg Symphonies” composed when Mozart was young and living in Salzburg. Unlike his later, full scale symphonies, these are for strings alone. Divertimento in D is considered “a masterpiece of masterpieces on the smallest scale” (Alfred Einstein).
Dvořák’s “American String Quartet”, is a very joyful piece composed when Dvořák was happily reunited with his family for a summer holiday in Spillville, Iowa. In this small, idyllic community, Dvořák enjoyed the beauty of nature and listening to the African-American and Native American music of the people living there. Elements of these music styles are incorporated in his “American String Quartet. Premiered in Boston in 1894 by the Kneisel Quartet, the piece was so successful the quartet performed it 50 times that same year.
Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8, is said to be “the most loved of all his string quartets”. Composed during a traumatic time in the composer’s life, feelings of gloom and anguish are reflected in this piece, but the power of the music is the composer’s ability to transcend individual pain and torment and address universal despair and suffering. This piece is considered a masterpiece of the 20th century.