West and East: Beethoven to Zhou Long with the Cassatt Quartet and Magdalena Baczewska
“An extraordinary quartet” –New York Times
Pianist Magdalena Baczewska—”Columbia University professor by day, musical sorceress by night” (ConcertoNet)—returns to the Italian Academy with the renowned Cassatt String Quartet, who perform with “a mixture of boldness and finesse” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) with a new program of masterworks from three eras and three cultures.
A full house greeted Ms. Baczewska and the Cassatts in 2019 and again in early 2023 here at the Academy. They will open their return engagement with an undisputed classic, Beethoven’s Quartet in F Major, Op. 18 No. 1.
The program then leaps 200 years forward for a work by Columbia alumnus and Pulitzer Prize winning Chinese-American composer Zhou Long: “Song of the Ch’in” (2003). This remarkable quartet is inspired by the ch’in, a traditional Chinese seven-stringed, plucked zither, which was traditionally associated with sages and scholars. The sophisticated technique of ch’in playing involves various ways of plucking the strings, as well as a wide range, varied timbres, and florid ornamentation.
Ms. Baczewska joins the quartet for the final work, Shostakovich’s 1940 G Minor Op. 57 piano quintet, in which a “spacious and haunting neo-classical story unfolds that looks back to the famous chamber-music masterpieces of the romantic age and often glances towards Bach, while at the same time speaking a language of its own…. Every note is clean and poised, the music moving seamlessly between the apparently light-hearted and the intensely moving. The finale is strikingly simple and powerfully memorable.” (Boosey & Hawkes)
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Registration does not guarantee a seat. Check-in begins 30 minutes before the event and early arrival is suggested. Walk-ins will be admitted, space permitting, from 6:50 PM.