earsense - chamber music database
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Leoš Janáček Leoš Janáček

String Quartet No. 2, Intimate Letters
Real feelings need a certain interval of time to develop, reach their climax, and fade again; reactions to music, however, may change as fast as musical phrases do; they may spring up in full intensity at any give moment and disappear entirely when the musical pattern that provoked them ends or changes. Thus these reactions may, within a few instants, skip from the most profound grief to utter hilarity and on to complacency, without causing any discomfort to the mind experiencing them . . . Paul Hindemith

Samuel Barber, String Quartet, Op. 11 (with Adagio for Strings)

February 7th, 2010

Samuel Barber, 1910-1981

String Quartet, Op. 11, 1936

Samuel BarberSamuel Barber is regarded as one of the great American composers of the 20th century, the first century that produced truly great American classical music. Many of his works across all genres remain solidly in the repertoire. Barber’s musical vocabulary is tonal, lyrical, accessible and distinctively his own. With a gift and a propensity for vocal music that constitutes a good two-thirds of his output, Barber’s music sings, beguiling with its very human voice. This remains true of his eclectic and celebrated chamber works such as the cello sonata, the woodwind quintet “Summer Music”, and the chamber song “Dover Beach” for baritone and string quartet. (Barber himself was an accomplished baritone singer). Barber published two string quartets, an early serenade transcribed for orchestra and the astonishing Op. 11, the later from 1936 when Barber was a mere 26 years old. The centerpiece of the quartet is the famous monolithic and transcendent “Adagio” which has similarly been transcribed as an independent piece for string orchestra and, most revealing, as an a cappella choral mass. Even in the realm of pure instrumental music, Barber keenly evokes the human voice and our everlasting propensity for song. « more »

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earsense celebrates and explores how music makes "sense" with a focus on the extraodinary genre of chamber music. The centerpiece of earsense is a comprehensive database of chamber music composers, works, events and related media called chamberbase.


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