daedalusThey’ve been called “an exceptionally refined young ensemble with a translucent sound” by The New Yorker, with playing of “such security, technical finish, interpretive unity and sheer gusto it sounded as if these young string players had somehow been performing these works together for a good 50 or 60 years.” (The Washington Post)

Don’t miss your opportunity to hear the Daedalus QuartetLink opens in new window perform a free concert on Monday, April 7th at 7:30 PM at Christ United Methodist Church. (410 N. Holden Road)

Over the course of their thirteen years together, the Daedalus Quartet has established themselves as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles. They have received praise from praise from critics and listeners alike for the security, technical finish, interpretive unity, and sheer gusto of their performances.

Though steeped in the traditional literature of Haydn, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn, they have also won acclaim for their adventurous exploration of contemporary music, the Daedalus Quartet has performed works by notable composers such as Elliott Carter, George Perle, György Kurtág and György Ligeti.

On April 7, the Daedalus Quartet will present a program of challenging, modernist works from three centuries. The quartet will open the program with three of Henry Purcell’s elusive, introspective “Fantasias”. Presumably written for viol consorts by the young Purcell, these pieces defy the stereotypical whimsy and gaiety of Restoration England with their rhythmic and contrapuntal experimentation, interweaving melancholy fugal themes with quicker dance melodies and solemn chorales.

Joan Tower’s fifth quartet, “White Water,” serves as the centerpiece of the program. Written for the Daedalus Quartet in 2011, the piece develops from its spare but beautiful beginnings into a relentless, kinetic frenzy, employing swooping glissandi and other extended techniques to draw the audience on to the thrilling conclusion.

The program concludes with Beethoven’s most monumental and ground-breaking quartet, the Bb major Opus 130. The Daedalus Quartet will present the piece with its original finale, the Grand Fugue, a piece which Stravinsky later called “an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever.” The scope and grandeur of this quartet, in which Beethoven swings wildly between moods of mystery, exuberance, satire, and, in the penultimate movement (the ethereal Cavatina), otherworldly beauty, set the stage for the “new music” that would emerge in the twentieth century.

This performance is sponsored by the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance and is made possible through generous support from the Anglo-American Composers Performance Grants of the Christopher C. and Laura B. Tew Legacy Fund.