Britain’s Doric String Quartet to Play Finney Chapel Feb. 22

January 28, 2019
Erich Burnett
Members of the Doric String Quartet
Photo credit: George Garnier

Part of the Artist Recital Series, the performance features gems by Haydn, Britten, and Mendelssohn.

The Doric String Quartet, whose members have been called “musicians with fascinating things to say” by Gramophone magazine, will direct their annual U.S. tour to Finney Chapel for a 7:30 p.m. performance on Friday, February 22 and a set of master classes on Saturday, February 23.

Part of Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series, the performance will feature Haydn’s Op. 33, No. 4; Britten’s third; and Mendelssohn’s E minor quartets.

Of Haydn’s 68 string quartets, the Opus 33 in B-flat is the most infrequently performed, though its slow movement is arguably the most lyrical and beautiful within that opus. Britten’s five-movement third quartet was the last major work he completed and is considered the most profound and deeply expressive of his quartets. Mendelssohn’s rhythmically vibrant E minor quartet was written during his honeymoon. It contains all the hallmarks of his writing—scherzando qualities, a lyrical song-without-words, and bravura material that propels the finale.

Since 2015, the Doric Quartet has served as Teaching Quartet in Association at the Royal Academy of Music in London. As they celebrate two decades of making music, they also welcome a new member: second violinist Ying Xue, who joined the lineup of violinist Alex Reddington, violist Hélène Clément, and cellist John Myerscough in 2018.

“It is always a wonderful opportunity to hear great string quartets in a live setting,” says Kirsten Docter, associate professor of viola and coordinator of chamber music at Oberlin. “The Doric’s program promises many delights.”

In particular, Docter cites the Haydn, whose works are widely considered a Doric specialty; the ensemble will record the Austrian master’s complete Opus 33 quartets—including the B-flat major work that will be heard in Oberlin—for a forthcoming release on Chandos.

(Get a taste of the quartet’s artistry—and that of Haydn himself—in this video of his Op. 33, No. 3 quartet, from an October 2018 performance in northern England.)

Tickets for the Doric String Quartet at Oberlin are $35 ($30 for seniors, members of the military, and Oberlin alumni and staff). All student tickets are just $10.

There’s still time to select a Pick 3 package: Choose three of the remaining four shows on the 2018-19 Artist Recital Series and save $15 on the cost of admission. For tickets or more information call 800-371-0178, visit oberlin.edu/artsguide, or stop by Oberlin’s Central Ticket Service (Nord Performing Arts Annex, 67 N. Main St.) from noon-5 p.m. weekdays.

The Artist Recital Series continues February 27 with Joyce DiDonato’s SongPlay, featuring the Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano backed by a top-flight ensemble in innovative interpretations of music spanning numerous centuries and styles.

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