Pro Musica is delighted to welcome the illustrious Vega String Quartet back to the stage after their stunning concerts for us last season! The New York Times gushed that their playing had a kind of clean intoxication to it, pulling the listener along…the musicians took real risks in their music making." The Quartet, consisting of Elizabeth Fayette and Jessica Wu, violins; Yinzi Kong, viola and Guang Wang, cello, returns to San Miguel for two concerts on Friday and Sunday, 26 and 28 January at 5pm at St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo.
What does “Vega” mean, anyway? Yinzi told me “there is an old joke among string quartets that if you can pick a name without breaking up, everything else is easy! When we moved to New York City to continue our education, we studied with the Orion Quartet. We chose our name to also come from a constellation in honor of all we learned, as the Vega star is the brightest in the Lyra constellation.” Currently, the quartet in Residence at Emory, the Vega is inspiring budding chamber music lovers through the interactive community they’ve built and exhilarating performances.
On Friday, audiences will enjoy works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and the indelibly talented contemporary artist Tan Dun, among others. Mendelssohn describes his Quartet No. 3 in D Major as being with “passion” because of its vibrancy, intensity, and vitality. The composer first achieved fame with his teenage masterpieces, the Midsummer Night's Dream Overture and the string Octet, and for the rest of his life continued with an outpouring of masterful compositions that are notable for their wonderful melodic lines. Beethoven’s Quartet No. 7, one of the highlights of the repertoire was commissioned by his patron Count Rasumovsky and incorporates Russian folk melodies at the Count's request. Tan Dun, composer of the cinematic sensation "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", has also composed award-winning symphonic works, chamber music, and opera. Influenced by classical Chinese instruments, the Vega will present his wondrous work, Eight Colors.
On Sunday we will hear Haydn, Bartók, Beethoven and more. Haydn’s Quartet in B-flat Major, La chasse, was probably written in the late 1750's, although the original version of this lovely ABCBA palindrome no longer exists. La chasse earned its nickname for the hunting-horn melody in the first movement. Bartók’s Quartet No.1 shows his contrapuntal sophistication through beautiful organic forms, and is a compelling work. Beethoven’s Quartet No. 13 is monumental; the poet T.S. Eliot wrote, "There is a sort of heavenly …gaiety about some of [Beethoven's] later things which one imagines might come to oneself as the fruit of reconciliation and relief after immense suffering; I should like to get something of that into verse before I die."
Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.