‘A Stroll in the Prater’ with DaPonte String Quartet
The DaPonte String Quartet’s second series of the season takes listeners on a stroll through Vienna, home to the world’s oldest amusement park (the Prater), in company with some of the Austrian capital's most powerful musical prodigies: Joseph Haydn, Alban Berg, and Ludwig van Beethoven. “A Stroll in the Prater” has five performances, from March 18-25, in Damariscotta, Portland, Rockport, Boothbay Harbor, and Brunswick.
Haydn has been dubbed the “father of the string quartet,” but “great-great-granddaddy” might be more apt, since techniques he worked out while composing the Opus 20 quartets defined the genre for the next 200 years. The DSQ will perform his “Quartet in C Major, Op. 20, No. 2,” which was unique in its day for letting all four instruments have their moment in the limelight, an honor till then reserved for the violins.
For decades after its premiere, Berg’s “Opus 3” quartet did not find much love, outside of Arnold Schoenberg, who mentored Berg as he composed this groundbreaking work. Today, however, it is widely admired as a piece of richly textured music that penetrates directly to the truths of the human heart.
Not quite a “stroll in the park,” Beethoven’s “Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No 1” might be more akin to a ride on the roller coaster. “Beethoven’s middle quartets drove even his performers quite crazy - to the point of the cellist storming out of the room on first reading,” said DSQ violinist Ferdinand Liva. “People will want to buckle up for this one.”
Performances of “A Stroll in the Prater”: March 18 at 3 p.m. – Lincoln Theater, 2 Theater St., Damariscotta; March 22 at 7:30 p.m. – Jewish Museum, 267 Congress St., Portland; March 23 at 7 p.m. – Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St., Rockport; March 24 at 4 p.m. – St. Columba’s Church, 32 Emery Lane, Boothbay Harbor; and March 25 – 3 p.m.. – Unitarian Church, 15 Pleasant St., Brunswick.
Tickets are $25, and are available at www.DaPonte.org 207-529-4555.