KAIA String Quartet joined comedian Robbie Ellis, singer Bethany Thomas, and storyteller Jack Zimmerman for the inaugural WFMT Cabaret at Uptown Underground.
KAIA, WFMT’s first ensemble-in-residence, is dedicated to sharing Latin American culture through the medium of the string quartet. During the cabaret, the quartet played pieces from several centuries, including works by Astor Piazzolla and Joaquín Turina, that share a few common qualities: they adapt folk traditions for the string quartet.
In the String Quartet Op. 20, No. 4 in D, we can hear Papa Haydn’s penchant for adapting folk-like melodies to music more suitable for performance at royal courts. In the Menuetto, which you can hear KAIA play below, Haydn has taken a French court dance, the minuet, and infused it with folksy rhythms and melodies. This blend is typical not only of Haydn, but of many composers of the era.