Maine Mountain Chamber Music will present a concert featuring the renowned Daedalus String Quartet, along with Laurie Kennedy, viola, and Yuri Funahashi, piano at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, in Nordica Auditorium at the University of Maine at Farmington. The program will consist of Mendelssohn’s String Quintet #2 in B Flat, Op. 87, The Space Between by Anna Weesner, and Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34.

About the music:

Originally conceived as a string quintet with two cellos, Brahms’ Quintet metamorphosed into a sonata for two pianos before its final transformation into the Piano Quintet. Hermann Levi, who had suggested the change, wrote to Brahms in 1865, “The Quintet is beautiful beyond words. Anyone who did not know it in its earlier forms of string quintet and two-piano sonata would never believe that it was not originally thought out and designed for the present combination of instruments… You have turned a monotonous work for two pianos into a thing of great beauty, a masterpiece of chamber music…”

Mendelssohn’s second String Quintet #2 was written two years before his death, at age 39, in 1847. Although Mendelssohn chose to not have the quintet published, it is considered today to be one of his best chamber works, at times joyful and dramatic, at times somber and intense; a finale which “hurls the Quintet back into action, serving up the most blazing rhythms yet for a rapid dash towards the finish line.” [Tim Greiving]

Anna Weesner’s music has been described as “animated and full of surprising turns” (New York Times, Oct. 10, 2003), as “a haunting conspiracy” (Philadelphia Inquirer, April 24, 2001) and cited as demonstrating “an ability to make complex textures out of simple devices” (San Francisco Classical Voice, March 27, 2001). John Harbison has written that “none of it proceeds in obvious ways. Her vocabulary is subtle and rather elusive; the effect is paradoxically confident and decisive.” Composer James Primosch has written about Weesner’s work: “Anna’s sense of timing and pacing is exquisite … a direct yet subtle art – the surface is full of vivid gestures, wonderfully wide-ranging and imaginative but placed with pinpoint timing, and cunningly varied .. She manages to achieve that difficult balance of the unexpected and the inevitable.”

Since its founding the Daedalus Quartet has performed in many of the world’s leading musical venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, and abroad, among many others, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Praised by The New Yorker as “a fresh and vital young participant in what is a golden age of American string quartets,” the Daedalus Quartet has established itself as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles. In the thirteen years of its existence the Daedalus Quartet has received plaudits from critics and listeners alike for the security, technical finish, interpretive unity, and sheer gusto of its performances.

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