A rather painfully elaborate name for a string quartet. My editors sent me to review them because it seemed like one of the more intriguing things that Stanford would be putting on this term.
The concert was in the Studio, a small cube in Bing's basement. Ostensibly the reason to put concerts here is for more intimate, smaller-scale performances, and I repeated the party line in the review, but regardless of the unusual repertoire this was just a string quartet concert, the kind which Bing's acoustically excellent main space can handle just fine. I suspect the real reason for putting concerts in the cube, as has been when I've been there before, has been their narrow audience appeal. It would be too dismaying to face a sea of empty seats in the main space. Even the cube was far from full.
But it was an enriching artistic experience, not least because I finally heard a piece by Kaija Saariaho that I really like, and one by Amy Beach that isn't all wet. For once I knew beforehand for sure that I'd have two tickets, so I invited an athenais along and she was also enriched. The only problem was chairs not made for concentrated sitting. Now I'll associate Sibelius's string quartet with having a sore butt.
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