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Tuesday, January 15 , 2019, 8:08 pm | Overcast 54º


Miró Quartet Plays Mozart, Dutilleux and Beethoven on Sunday at the Lobero

Ensemble performing as part of Music Academy of the West schedule

Historically, the Music Academy of the West has been dark on Sundays, save for the second performance of the opera, but at 4 p.m. Sunday, the Lobero Theatre will be lit up by the sparks thrown by the dynamic Miró Quartet (Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, violins; John Largess, viola; Joshua Gindele, cello) as they conclude their residency with a Visiting Artist Recital. The ensemble has garnered the coveted Naumberg Chamber Music Award, and is currently Faculty-String-Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Miró — presumably, they take their name from the abstract expressionist painter, Joan Miró — will play a program of three works: Wolfgang Mozart’s String Quartet No. 16 in Eb-Major, K.428; Henri Dutilleux’s String Quartet “Ainsi la Nuit (Thus the Night)”; and Ludwig Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 9 in C-Major, Opus 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky”.

The Mozart work is one of the set of six dedicated to Franz Joseph Haydn. Thus, on top of the work’s perfection, it’s sublimity, we are reminded of all these composers meant to each other. “Before God, and as an honest man,” Haydn told Mozart’s father, “I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name. He has taste, and, what is more, the most profound knowledge of composition.” Mozart, with these quartets, returned the compliment, with interest.

I confess I am running out of things to say about Dutilleux, who seems to be experiencing some kind of boom these days. It doesn’t matter, since nothing I or anyone else might say about a given piece will give the reader the faintest idea of what it sounds like. “Ainsi la Nuit” is a fine, coherent work, although a fairly austere one. The composer sounds to be trying out a number of approaches, before settling — if that is the word — on the path he wishes to follow. Once he has hit upon it, this least doctrinaire of modern composers takes off with the bit solidly between his teeth.

Whatever he is composing, Beethoven remains Beethoven — the greatest composer who ever lived, notwithstanding Haydn’s opinion, since there were no Beethoven compositions when he offered it.

Reserved seats to the Miró Quartet are $41 (including Lobero facility fee). Click here to purchase tickets online, or by phone at 805.969.8787. Tickets are also available from the Lobero box office at 805.963.0761.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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