The DaPonte String Quartet will be performing a new concert program, featuring another romp through the Bartók String Quartet cycle, and a performance of the last major work by Beethoven - his “Quartet Opus 135.” The DaPonte Quartet will be touring its usual coastal Maine venues with this program beginning on Nov. 3.
Music on this eclectic program draws upon a venerable but widely misunderstood tradition of social protest and uncertainty. Bartók’s “String Quartet No. 6” ends with a palpable question posed in the cello; one can almost hear in it a fearfully whispered “What now?”
Beethoven returned to the classical four-movement quartet with his short, witty “Opus 135,” which posed philosophical questions and opened a whole new world of musical exploration. The enigmatic “Muss es sein?” and “Es muss sein!” (“Must it be?” “It must be!”) appearing in the music above the quartet’s finale, along with the title “Der schwer gefasste Entschluss,” which might loosely be translated as “The Agonizing Decision,” together impart a clear sense of existential soul-searching – a sort of musical “To be, or not to be, that is the question:”
This concert series also features the newly commissioned “Quartet No. 8” by American composer Richard Danielpour, which was premiered by the DSQ in August. The music is based on the Amy Clampitt poem “What the Light Was Like” depicting natural landscapes and mysterious misfortunes on the Maine coast. Allan Kozinn, music critic with the Portland Press Herald, wrote of the premiere: the “five-movement piece, built of what at first sound like the simplest of materials - unpressured themes, short melodic cells - but which blossom into full, rich, almost pictorial texture.”
This concert series will highlight one of the DaPonte String Quartet’s most endearing qualities, the ability to give context and meaning to both classic and modern music in some of Maine’s most beautiful performance spaces. An acclaimed Maine treasure, voted DownEast Best of Maine and Knox County Best of the Best, the DSQ performs year round in spaces all across the state.
Performances: Nov. 3: 2 p.m. - Rockort Opera House, 6 Central St., Rockport; Nov. 4: 2 p.m. – Lincoln Theater, 2 Theater St., Damariscotta; Nov. 8: 7:30 p.m. - Maine Jewish Museum, 267 Congress St., Portland; Nov. 10: 2 p.m. – St. Columba’s Church, 32 Emery Lane, Boothbay Harbor; Nov. 11: 2 p.m. – Unitarian Church, 15 Pleasant St., Brunswick.
Tickets are $22.50 online at www.DaPonte.org or $25 at Sherman’s Books – Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta and Camden; Longfellow Books in Portland and Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick. For more information, call 940-595-1917.