Sister Bay, Wis. (June 21, 2022) – The Griffon String Quartet, Midsummer’s Music’s engaging resident ensemble, headlines the third program of Midsummer’s 2022 exciting summer season with four dynamic concerts from June 24 through June 30. Chosen by Griffon members as personal favorites, the quartet will perform two cyclical pieces by Felix Mendelssohn and Dmitri Shostakovich.
A cyclic form is a technique of musical construction involving multiple sections or movements in which thematic material occurs as a unifying device in more than one movement. Themes may occur at the beginning and end of a composition or throughout the piece.
In 1827, Mendelssohn composed his String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13—his first string quartet, even though it was published as his second. The work is an homage to Beethoven’s string quartets Opp. 95, 132, and 135, and the finale features threads from previous movements, eventually circling back to the gorgeous opening movement. It is among chamber music’s first cyclical pieces.
Russian composer Shostakovich wrote his String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor at the age of 53 in 1960, while living near the still-bombed-out Dresden, Germany. He suffered from the debilitating Lou Gehrig’s disease and was under relentless political pressure to join the communist party, which was total anathema to him. Musicologists studying the influence of Dresden on Shostakovich originally speculated that his eighth quartet was an anti-war protest, but it is now believed to be a protest piece against the communist party. In terms of the work’s cyclical nature, similar material occurs throughout the music, which was not uncommon in his other works, but it is most prominent in this quartet, which begins and ends with a somber elegy.
Musicians are violinist Vinicius Sant’Ana and Ji-Yeon Lee, violist Blakeley Menghini, and cellist Ryan Louie. This program will be performed four times: June 24 at 7:00pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay; June 25 at 7:00pm at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay; June 26 at 3:00pm at Sister Bay Moravian Church in Sister Bay; and June 30 at 7:00pm at the Donald & Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor.
The fourth program of the season features Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Trio in E-flat Major, “Kegelstatt,” K.498, and his Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat Major, K.499, along with Composer-in-Residence Will Healy’s Trio (2022). Concerts are at 7:00pm, July 1, at Björklunden in Baileys Harbor; 7:00pm, July 2, at the Donald & Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor; 3:00pm, July 3, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay; and 7:00pm, July 5, at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay. Featured musicians are violinists David Perry and Ann Palen, violist Allyson Fleck, cellist James Waldo, and pianists Jeannie Yu and Will Healy.
A complete 2022 summer brochure can be downloaded at www.midsummersmusic.com. Programs are subject to change.
Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for students, and children 12 and under are free. Premium prices apply for salon/home concerts, dinner concerts and other special events. Flex-packs of six tickets for the price of five tickets are also available. Tickets can be ordered at www.midsummersmusic.com or by phone at 920-854-7088.
Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, long-time Door County summer residents and principal orchestral players with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. What began as two concerts among friends has become one of the Midwest’s most anticipated chamber music series, bringing thousands of chamber music enthusiasts from around the globe to the magical Door County Peninsula.