Fresh off the plane from the Bay Area, the Telegraph String Quartet has a unique and delicious pair of concerts for San Miguel’s classical music enthusiasts. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as playing with “a combination of brilliance and subtlety”, the Telegraph String Quartet has delighted audiences worldwide since their founding in 2013. On Friday, February 22nd, and Saturday, February 23rd, both at 5 pm, they promise to bring precisely that intoxicating blend to the stage, performing two different programmes at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.
Currently the Quartet in Residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, these phenomenal players won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music competition only a short time after they formed. The Quartet is made up of Eric Chin and Joseph Maile, violins; Pei-Ling Lin, viola and Jeremiah Shaw, cello. Each is a noted chamber musician on the international stage, where they’ve graced such illustrious stages as Carnegie Hall, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre and the Emilia Romagna Festival. Last year they released their debut album, Into the Light, with great critical acclaim.
Friday’s program includes works by Dvorak and Beethoven. During Dvořák’s Slavic period he composed not only his immensely popular Slavonic Dances, but also the Quartet in E-flat, which we will hear. Commissioned by Jean Becker, leader of one of Europe’s most important chamber ensembles, Dvorak was asked by Becker to compose “in the Slav spirit”. The refined melodies, immaculate composition and elegance rank this work as one of the finest quartets in the repertoire. Beethoven’s last six quartets are famous for their passion and freedom of expression, painting a picture of an unseen player in each movement. On Friday, we will hear the second of the series: the Quartet in B-flat Major. Unusual among quartets for its surprising six movement structure, this profound opus examines the limits of what can be expressed in music, re-defining the tenuous relationship between form and meaning.
Saturday’s program will feature Mendelssohn, Ravel and Dvorak. Mendelssohn was a superstar in his time, and we will hear one of his most phenomenal compositions; the centerpiece of his mature string quartets: the Quartet in D Major; his personal favorite. Ravel’s Quartet comes from a remarkable artistic moment prior to World War I. At a time of risk and experimentation, composers toyed with the commonly held ideas of rhythm and tonality. Ravel was no exception, explored multi-tonality through simultaneous instruments in different keys. His quartet is a reflection of this and is sure to intrigue and captivate. Dvorak’s charming Cypresses will also be performed. It was written out of love for the actress Josefina Cermakova, but he ultimately married her younger sister; although he and Josefina remained close friends!
Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at the Bookshop in the Biblioteca Pública; Solutions, Recreo 11 and through our website with no booking fee, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.