DaPonte continues winter series
Thomaston — Audiences will have a chance to hear some hidden musical gems as the DaPonte String Quartet presents works by Shostakovich, Walton and Dvořák in its second winter concert series.
The opening performance will be Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist, 200 Main St./Route 1. The series will continue Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Damariscotta’s Lincoln Theater, and Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Portland Public Library; and conclude with a Sunday matinee Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. at Topsham’s Mid-Coast Presbyterian Church.
William Walton’s String Quartet No. 2 in A has been described as an unjustly neglected masterpiece. The British composer wrote only three pieces of chamber music, which may have been overlooked because Walton is best known for his orchestral work and film scores. Yet his biographers agree that this quartet, a post-Romantic and post-War work of languid beauty, is one of his very best.
Antonin Dvořák’s unaccountably neglected String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 34 is filled with flowing melodies, rich harmonies and pulsing rhythms that only Dvořák could have penned. It is notable as being first mature chamber work in which Bohemian folk melodies were consciously employed.
Dmitri Shostakovich kept his String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83 in a drawer until Stalin was safely dead. The Russian composer was a vociferous opponent of anti-Semitism, which was resurgent in Russia when he wrote the quartet. Shostakovich must have felt it was unsafe to unveil the quartet, with its obvious Jewish influences, in Stalin’s Russia.
The string quartet moved to Maine in 1992 on a rural arts grant from Chamber Music America and the National Endowment for the Arts. DaPonte performs more than 40 concerts a year, from Presque Isle to Ogunquit.
Tickets are $20, available online at DaPonte.org or by calling 529-4555.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or firstname.lastname@example.org.