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Emerson in Context

Marathon #2

The World Sax Quartet aren't the only ones celebrating their 30th year in 2007: for the Emerson String Quartet's 30th, Carnegie is putting on a landmark series of 8 concerts, presenting not only the complete quartets of Beethoven, but also select quartets by everyone from Bach (The Art of Fugue) to a world premiere by Kaaja Saariaho. Tonight's offering: an unprecedented double bill of the six Op. 18 quartets. (We're on dinner break right now.) I'll do a proper post at some point, but suffice to say: these guys are worthy of their (considerable) hype. My one complaint: Stern Hall's resonant interior is great for orchestras, not the best for quartets. Still, amazing.