Mozart: String Quartet No. 19 in C major, K 465 “Dissonance”
Purcell: “Fantasia Upon one Note”
Betsy Jolas: String Quartet No. 3 “9 Etudes”
Arvo Pärt: Solfeggio
Brahms: String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 51 No. 1
The foundational frequency of the string quartet is the note C, the enveloping lowest open strings of the viola and cello. Upon One Note explores a group of ingenious works revolving around C; from Mozart’s wildly inventive “Dissonance” Quartet to Betsy Jolas’ musings on the building blocks of the string quartet to the otherworldly soundscape of Pärt to Brahms’ swirling masterpiece. Not to be left out, the audience will collectively embody the C, joining Brooklyn Rider in Purcell’s magical Fantasia Upon One Note.
The Brooklyn Rider Alamanac: four short works for string quartet by Clarice Assad, Gabriel Kahane, Giovanni Sollima, and Tyshawn Sorey
Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 2 in F-sharp minor, Op. 10
Colin Jacobsen: Chalk and Soot
Inspired by the pioneering artistic spirit of Der Blaue Reiter, a pre-WW1 era collective with the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky at the helm, this program serves as an ode to Brooklyn Rider’s very namesake. The Brooklyn Rider Almanac is a century-long nod to the 1912 publication of Der Blaue Reiter Almanach, comprised of brand new works by four visionary musicians in Brooklyn Rider’s creative orbit. The German premiere (1911) of Arnold Schoenberg’s tonality-shattering String Quartet No. 2, Op 10 (with soprano) was heard by Kandinsky himself, sparking a friendship between these two kindred artistic spirits that led to Schoenberg’s inclusion in Der Blaue Reiter. Brooklyn Rider’s own Colin Jacobsen binds together past and present through his extended song cycle Chalk and Soot, built upon Dada-inspired text written by Kandinsky himself and featuring the highly versatile and mesmerizing American soprano Ariadne Greif.
The program deals with the four classical elements. Four works symbolic of earth, air, fire and water, composed in the 20th century, which was marked by accelerated and unprecedented planetary changes. In contrast, there are four entirely new works that reflect current realities and serve as a musical call to action.
Fire: Dimitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110
& co-commissioned work by Akshaya Avril Tucker
Water: Osvaldo Golijov: Tenebrae
& co-commissioned work by Conrad Tao
Earth: Ruth Crawford Seeger: Suite of American Folk Songs (arr. Colin Jacobsen)
& co-commissioned work by Dan Trueman
Air: Henri Dutilleux: String Quartet “Ainsi la nuit“
& co-commissioned work by Andreia Pinto Correia
Juxtaposing beloved and familiar works with the new and unknown, Brooklyn Rider explores a boundless sandbox of musical creativity, dialogue, and play; the medium of the string quartet itself! Beginning with one of the prototypical jewels of the classical era, Haydn’s C major score, chock-full of pioneering inventiveness, radiates with an enduring love for the genre. The program segues from the veritable father of the string quartet to a highly anticipated new chapter of the Brooklyn Rider Almanac. In part inspired by Der Blaue Reiter (the quartet’s namesake), this celebration of the project’s tenth anniversary adds to a diverse and novel body of works penned by luminous musical creators from the jazz, folk, and indie rock worlds. Next, Sofia Gubaidulina paints an otherworldly sound gate to the baroque, paving the way for Schumann’s earthy string quartet in A minor. Utterly individual in its conception, this masterful work came forth after a period studying the counterpoint of perhaps the greatest musical inventor of them all; J.S. Bach.
Haydn: String Quartet in C major, Op. 20, “Sun”, No. 2, Hob.III:32
Various: The Brooklyn Rider Almanac, Book II
Gubaidulina: Reflections on the Theme B-A-C-H
Schumann: String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op 41
These days, when even the term “dreamers” is disputed territory, celebrating beauty is a political act. That is the beating heart of Dreamers, the collaboration between Magos Herrera and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider. The program, includes gems of the Ibero-American songbook as well as pieces written to texts by Octavio Paz, Rubén Darío, and Federico García Lorca — all reimagined by a superb group of arrangers including Jaques Morelenbaum, Gonzalo Grau, Diego Schissi, Guillermo Klein and Brooklyn Rider’s own Colin Jacobsen.
The connecting thread is that the poets and songwriters featured on Dreamers came from places that have endured brutal state violence. Consider Violeta Parra, from Chile; João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, from Brazil; Gustavo “Cuchi” Leguizamón, from Argentina, García Lorca, Spain and poet, essayist and Nobel Prize winner, Octavio Paz.
Dreamers is a reminder that beauty can come out of terrible situations. As Leonard Bernstein said, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before”.