Dover Quartet: Voices of Defiance

October 22, 2017, 9:00 am

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“The young American string quartet of the moment” (The New Yorker) delivers an original, deeply felt program of three European composers’ distinctive responses to the destruction and despair of World War II. Czech composer Viktor Ullmann’s powerful String Quartet No 3, written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943, draws inspiration from Debussy and Schoenberg. The ensemble’s muscular approach to Dmitri Shostakovich’s epic String Quartet No 2 from 1944 emphasizes its tragic qualities. A captivating discovery for most listeners, Szymon Laks’s lyrical String Quartet No 3, written in 1945 following his evacuation from Auschwitz and liberation from Dachau, revels in folk melodies from his native Poland in contrasting scenes of heartbreak and ecstasy.