by Patrick Neas, Kansas City Star
The Takács Quartet epitomizes the kind of musicmaking we associate with the Friends of Chamber Music: elegant, refined, intelligent and classy. So it’s appropriate that the quartet will open the Friends’ new season with a program of Franz Schubert, Antonin Dvorak and Benjamin Britten at 8 p.m. Friday at the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.
The Takács has performed highly acclaimed concerts previously on the Friends of Chamber Music’s series, including a very memorable cycle of the complete string quartets by Béla Bartók.
Friday night, the quartet will perform two of the most beloved works in the chamber music repertoire, Schubert’s “Rosamunde” Quartet and Dvorak’s “American” Quartet. Both works have a warmth and lyricism that make you feel like you’re sipping a snifter of fine brandy as you listen.
In between the Schubert and Dvorak, the Takács will perform a bracing, modernist work by Britten. The English composer wrote the String Quartet No. 2 in 1945, not long after returning from Germany, where he had performed for survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
The work at times shows the influence of Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich, but it also pays tribute to English Baroque composer Henry Purcell. Britten himself was quite taken with the work and declared, “To my mind it is the greatest advance I have yet made.”
For tickets, call 816-561-9999 or visit chambermusic.org.
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