Performing this Week

Real Quiet (Felix Fan, Cello; Andrew Russo, Piano; David Cossin, Percussion)
Real Quiet (Felix Fan, Cello; Andrew Russo, Piano; David Cossin, Percussion)

Orion String Quartet (Todd Phillips and Daniel Phillips, Violins; Steven Tenenbom, Viola; and Timothy Eddy, Cello)
Orion String Quartet (Todd Phillips and Daniel Phillips, Violins; Steven Tenenbom, Viola; and Timothy Eddy, Cello)

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Summer 2009 — Week 10

This week on WFMT's Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival radio broadcast we have a world premiere along side one of the most iconic works of the chamber music repertoire. First, it's Kaija Saariaho's new piece, Serenatas, which was commissioned by the Festival on behalf of a cello-piano-percussion ensemble called Real Quiet. Then, the Orion String Quartet makes another stop along the way on their exploration of the entire Beethoven String Quartet cycle when they play the String Quartet in No. 12 in E-Flat Major, Op.127.

Please scroll down to find excerpts from Kerry Frumkin and Marc Neikrug's conversation about this week's program, comments from Real Quiet's Felix Fan and the Orion Quartet's Daniel Phillips, and as always, a few other things I found along the way.

Thanks for stopping by...
Louise

KAIA SAARIAHO
Serenatas

Real Quiet: Felix Fan, cello; Andrew Russo, piano; David Cossin, percussion

The work a collection of five small pieces which are played in the order chosen by the performers. The names of the sections describe their general musical character: Agitato, Delicato, Dolce, Languido, Misterioso.

The musical material here is related to two of my recent works: Mirage and Notes on Light. I became attached to some details and musical ideas, developed them here further or put them in a new context. The starting-point for these pieces is emotional. The title reflects my attitude to this material: the music is sometimes sweet, sometimes tormented. I would like the attitude of the musicians playing it to be devoted as it would be when playing a serenade to a lover...

- Kaija Saariaho about Serenatas (from Chester Novello)

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho created Serenatas on a co-commision from the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the La Jolla Music Society for SummerFest. She wrote it especially for the members of the ensemble Real Quiet, cellist Felix Fan, pianist Andrew Russo, and percussionist David Cossin.

 

Marc told Kerry he had hoped that Saariaho would write a piece for Real Quiet ever since the Santa Fe Opera presented Saariaho's L'Amour de loin in 2002.

Marc tells Kerry what he likes about Saariaho's music.

Founding member of the ensemble Real Quiet, Felix Fan, talks about finding the inspiration for the groups name at an unusual location: the race track! Other voices heard here are producer Louise Frank (off-mic) and pianist Andrew Russo.

 

Watch Real Quiet, the horse, win the 1998 Kentucky Derby

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
String Quartet No. 12 in E-Flat Major, Op. 127

Orion String Quartet: Todd Phillips and Daniel Phillips, violins; Steven Tenenbom, viola; Timothy Eddy, cello

Beethoven's creative out-put is commonly seen as being organized into three distinctly identifiable periods. In this unedited excerpt from their conversation on the subject, Marc and Kerry wonder if it was "simply an evolving exploration of what he spent his whole life doing..."? They discuss the popular opinion regarding Beethoven's so-called time-line and whether one can assign definition to the creative flow of another person's life.

 

Marc and Kerry discuss Beethoven, part 1

Marc and Kerry discuss Beethoven, part 2

Marc and Kerry discuss Beethoven, part 3

 

Beethoven's way is to create themes that are potent in character, and, by developing them with his fertile imagination, craft a storyline that captivates the listener and gives an experience that far transcends ordinary human life. His music runs the gamut from the trivial to the cosmic, and sometimes, and sometimes, like the first movement of Op. 135, one isn't sure which it is. But there it is – music that is clearly one of the pinnacles of Western civilization.

- Orion String Quartet violinist, Daniel Phillips (from his article entitled, BEETHOVEN AND I: A LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP, printed in the Santa Fe Chamber Music 2007 season program book.)

 

Though the climate and natural beauty have remained the same, Daniel Phillips has seen a lot of changes in Santa Fe during the 30 years he's been participating at this Festival. Most of the roads have been paved and "the Festival is now even a greater place to go as an artist."

The Orion String Quartet has devoted much of last few years to exploring the full cycle of Beethoven String Quartets, both on the concert stage and in the recording studio. With the final set, the opus 18 quartets, due to be released in the coming months, Daniel Phillips is has every right to feel proud of this accomplishment.

 

Watch Orion String Quartet play the last movement of the Beethoven String Quartet, op.59 #3

 

The Orion Quartet has been exploring the full cycle of Beethoven's quartets, both on stage and in the recording studio. You can find their CDs on the Koch label and as downloads on iTunes.