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The Dark, Coiled Intensity of f Minor- Boulder hosted by Off the Hook Arts

February 8, 2020

Grace Lutheran Church, 1001 13th St, Boulder, CO


Off the Hook Arts presents the Brentano String Quartet as part of WinterFest 2020. Featuring music in F Minor by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Shostakovich plus the world premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Coiled, based on Beethoven’s F Minor quartet “Serioso” Opus 95.

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves the London Independent; the New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism.”

“The concert made it clear that these players could well be the best of the latest generation. Their level of individual technique was superb, while musical dialog necessary for rich chamber music was evident from first to last.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

Prelude in f minor from Book 2 of the Well-Tempered Clavier J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)
String Quartet in f minor, Op. 95 Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Coiled (inspired by Beethoven’s Op. 95) (2017) world premiere Bruce Adolphe (1955 – )
— Intermission —
StringQuartet No. 11 in f minor Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975)
String Quartet in f minor, Op. 80 Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847)
Program Note: The program starts with a Bach Prelude that introduces f minor as a key that admits little light, closed in and dense. In Op. 95 (“Serioso”), Beethoven wrote a work that is compact and brutal. When the Brentano Quartet approached Bruce Adolphe to write a work inspired by the Beethoven he answered immediately: “Opus 95: so many nuggets of genius: the unhinged rhythmic knots, the scales off the cliff’s edge, the muttering, the gnashing of molars!” The result is his new work, “Coiled,” written for this program.

That coiled intensity also informs Shostakovich’s Eleventh Quartet in f minor (Beethoven’s f minor is also his eleventh), that compressed, eloquent masterpiece. And it is no coincidence that Mendelssohn’s final quartet, written in the anguished aftermath of his beloved sister’s death, refers in key and affect directly to this seminal Beethoven work.

The Brentano String Quartet played the quartet music for the soundtrack in The Late Quartet, with featured appearance by their cellist Nina Lee, which will be shown at The Lyric (Fort Collins), with speaker Artistic Director Bruce Adolphe, on Wednesday, February 5.

General Admission - $25 / Student -$10. From 4:30pm-6:30pm.