Event Description

Anton Webern – Langsamer Satz
Béla Bartók – String Quartet No. 1
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 2 featuring Kiera Duffy, soprano

“I believe art is born of ‘I must’, not of ‘I can’. A craftsman ‘can’; whatever he was born with, he has developed, and so long as he wants to do something, he is able to. What he wants to do, he can do-good and bad, shallow and profound, new-fangled and old-fashioned-he can! But the artist MUST. He has no say in the matter, it is nothing to do with what he wants; but since he must, he also can.”
– Arnold Schoenberg

This is the crux of the situation, and the reason Schoenberg is so vital: it’s the moment he exploded the rules of western musical tradition. This is the revolution of Picasso’s Guernica or T. S. Eliot’s overthrow of poetic verse with The Wasteland…and we have the name of soprano Kiera Duffy glowing on the marquee. Ms. Duffy joins us for the moment of true innovation: the emancipation of dissonance. When one thinks of Modernism, certain names instantly bubble to the surface–Wassily Kandinsky, Virginia Woolf, Frank Lloyd Wright, and of course Arnold Schoenberg–and the second quartet is first in line on the soundtrack. This is Rite of Spring big. This is Remembrance of Things Past big. We’ll set the scene for this decisive moment in classical music with two dynamite composers : Anton Webern, one of Schoenberg’s most famed students, and Béla Bartók, who was busy shaking up the string quartet repertoire from a folk-centric approach, with his vanguard first quartet. This concert is sheer moxie, and you may find yourself whispering a line from the Schoenberg’s final movement on your way out the door: “I feel air from a distant planet…”

Join us for a pre-concert talk at 6:30pm with 20th-century music specialist and UChicago professor Jennifer Iverson

Fulton Recital Hall at UChicago 1010 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637