Brentano String Quartet

On Thursday, April 11 the Brentano String Quartet will present the program Fragments: Connecting Past and Present-Six classic unfinished quartets and the six new works they inspired. Convocations director, Todd Wetzel, discusses why this program is so significant:

“I’ve known about the Brentano Quartet for 20 years–from nearly their beginnings. I heard them in the early 90s in a workshop sponsored by the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. Convos presented them 16 years ago (Mar. 23, 1997) as a Discovery Artist, and their reputation has only grown since then. What I find interesting about them is their intellectual and musical curiosity. In order to put together the specific program that I booked (Fragments: Connecting Past and Present), they had to be interested in the questions that surround how creative works are made–or in the case of incomplete or unfinished works, why aren’t they finished? Did the composer get “stuck?” Did the composer switch midstream to a better paying commission? Did the composer learn something during the unfinished work that inspired a new piece thereby making that lesson-learned the “thing” of value rather than the originally started composition? We may never really know, but these fragments are nonetheless fascinating. It’s like finding parts of a fossil or portions of an old map, and then trying to imagine the world through the eyes of those few fragments. Of course, we hope to imagine them in the original context–for the sake of originality and truthfulness–but we also have the abiltiy to use today’s context to conceive how they might fit in our current landscape. So, when the Brentano commissioned composers to respond to these unfinished works, we get the best of both worlds: a look into the past that we may only dimly understand, but also a projection into a new world through the eyes of a composer today.” (more)

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