Music at Shaarey Tefilla, Dec. 7
An exquisite program of Mendelssohn's String Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat major, Op. 12 (1829) and String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 87 (1845), showing the compositional range between age 20 and 36 and showcasing the depth of two diverse works by players who fully connected with the nuances of both works. The Quartet is a bow to Beethoven yet becomes a harbinger of its own, placing Mendelssohn's romantic passion within the framework of the classical model. The Quintet, written two years before his death, is darker, more dramatic, reflective in presenting a cascade of variations on its theme that builds in layers. Both compositions feature an interplay between instruments, allowing each to develop a personality and to communicate in a distinctive voice, yet they work as an ensemble to bring forward a unified idea that is not so much spelled out as it is suggested. The Quartet offers a forward momentum very much in the moment. The Quintet resides in memory, and in what is to be remembered. For the Quartet, Zach DePue played first violin and Alexander Kerr second violin; Michael Strauss played viola and William Grubb cello. For the Quintet Kerr played first violin and DePue second. Michael Strauss played first viola, Sheldon Person played second viola and Grubb played cello. The intimate setting allowed the audience to experience the depth of each player's connection with the music.