Music can provide a profound lifeline for those struggling through times of unrest. The composers in this program grapple with the realities of a world full of upheaval and uncertainty, attempting to provide a path to greater understanding. The Irish-English composer Elizabeth Maconchy was an avowed socialist who supported the Republican forces fighting off Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Her hauntingly beautiful third quartet emerged out of the shadows of 1930s Europe. Carlos Simon’s heartbreaking Elegy memorializes the Black American victims of police violence, while Nathan Shield’s new quartet, Medusa, composed for the Jupiter Quartet for Shields’ Guggenheim Fellowship, uses the paintings of Caravaggio as an inspiration for exploring the effects of various types of political and social violence. Benjamin Britten, a pacifist who went to America during the War, returned to England afterwards only to embark on a redemptive tour of Europe with Yehudi Menuhin, performing for the victims of the Holocaust in the newly discovered concentration camps. His String Quartet No. 2 was written in response to these experiences. Beethoven’s epic eighth quartet is one of the many works he wrote during a time of immense political turmoil.
Elizabeth Maconchy: String Quartet No. 3
Carlos Simon: An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave
Nathan Shields: Medusa
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2
Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at 7:30 PM in the Foellinger Great Hall
See the Krannert Center website for more details and to purchase tickets.